In partnership with a team of Virginia-based firms, Standard Solar funded, designed, built and will operate the projects that are estimated to provide approximately 24% of the school’s power needs. The renewable energy generated by the 2.9-MW of combined rooftop arrays is forecasted to help stretch the RPS utility budgets over the next twenty years and provide a new platform for energy education.
With no upfront capital costs to RPS, a 20-year power purchase agreement will provide energy savings to RPS. Additionally, RPS received a generous grant from the RVA Solar Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond. The Community Foundation committed a $100,000 award to support a new Sustainability Associate position for RPS, as well as the purchase and installation of energy monitoring systems at selected school sites.
“Energy management with education and local engagement is a powerful combination and with less funding being allocated to schools year over year, public school administrators must find innovative means to deliver programs,” explained John Finnerty, director of business development for Standard Solar. “With our smart project financing, solar expertise and local engagement, we can provide the funding to make implementing a solar energy program without capital expenditure possible, all while equipping schools for a brighter future.”
Solar arrays were installed at 10 elementary and high schools throughout the Richmond, VA and Dominion Energy service area: Broad Rock Elementary School, G.H. Reid Elementary School, Huguenot High School, J.B. Fisher Elementary School, J.H. Blackwell Elementary School, Linwood Holton High School, Lucille M. Brown Middle School, M.J. Jones Elementary School, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and Oak Grove Elementary School.
“The RPS project represents a step towards Virginia’s goal to provide reliable, affordable 100% clean renewable energy to the Commonwealth,” continued Finnerty.
“Today, more schools around Virginia are getting solar on campus than ever before. And RPS is now in the lead, with the biggest solar power system at any school division in the state,” said Anthony Smith, CEO of Secure Futures. “Solar panels right on campus will also offer Richmond students exciting hands-on learning opportunities in a 21st century industry.”
Standard Solar also partnered with local firms to provide funding and long term local operating responsibility for the recently completed Augusta County Public Schools solar projects.
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