Calhoun County Schools

Leading the way for West Virginia schools

In 2021, West Virginia became the 29th state to allow solar PPAs. Legalized by House Bill 3310, this type of financing allows customers to install a solar power system on site without any upfront capital cost by contracting with a solar provider to operate solar equipment on the customer’s behalf.

Calhoun will be the first in West Virginia to install solar power systems at two school sites without upfront costs through a financing option newly available in the state, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). During the term of the PPA, Secure Solar Futures will own and operate all solar equipment and sell the solar energy to the schools at a cost lower than the cost of grid power offered by the local electric utility.

In addition, Secure Solar Futures will offer its unique program in citizen science, Throwing Solar Shade® (TSS), a classroom curriculum that complies with West Virginia Standards of Learning from grades K-12, and a workforce development program to train high school students to install solar systems on their own school buildings and at other solar project sites.

With a capacity of 768.6 kilowatts total, the combined solar arrays are projected to save the school district nearly $740,000 in energy costs over the next 25 years. Once the solar power systems are completed, each year Calhoun County Schools will produce enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 78 homes and avoid 400 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the same amount sequestered by 473 acres of forest.

“Calhoun County Schools is excited to be the first public school system in the state of West Virginia to install solar panels on their school roofs. We hope that being the first will encourage other school systems to follow suit.”

– Kelly Whytsell, Superintendent of Calhoun County Schools

The Challenge

Use recent legislation to help empower local schools

The Result

The school district will save nearly $740,000 in energy costs while gaining learning resources and workforce programs