Roanoke City Schools will get Solar Power at 7 Locations

James Breckinridge Middle School is one of seven schools that will have solar systems installed. Photo via Facebook.

Roanoke City Public Schools in Virginia has hired Secure Solar Futures to provide seven locations with on-site solar power for the next 25 years. Through a Power Purchase Agreement, the company will develop a 1.7-megawatt solar power system at no upfront capital cost to the schools, which will provide clean power for the next three decades or more while offering opportunities for workforce development in renewable energy.

“Utilizing solar power, as set forth in our strategic plan, will allow RCPS to be better stewards of our environment,” said Dr. Verletta White, RCPS Superintendent. “Additionally, we are very proud to have found a partner in Secure Solar Futures that values workforce development and will allow us to expose our students to the growing solar field so they can graduate with a diploma and skills in emerging technology.”

Secure Solar Futures will install a total of 3,667 solar panels manufactured by Trina Solar at seven locations: Fallon Park and Fishburn Park elementary schools; James Breckinridge, John P. Fishwick, Lucy Addison, and Woodrow Wilson middle schools; and the William B. Robertson Central Administration building.

Construction will begin in early 2024 and is slated to be completed by the end of the year. In its first year, the solar system will produce 2,287,402 kilowatt hours of electric power, which will offset nearly 39% of the electricity demand of the seven locations combined.

In addition to installing and operating solar energy systems, and at no extra cost to RCPS, the school division will work with Secure Solar Futures to establish and operate a workforce development program to train high school students as solar power technicians.

Programs for students to learn about energy and solar power in the classroom will also be offered to RCPS, including standards-based curricula and teacher training for all grades plus Secure Solar Futures’ unique Throwing Solar Shade® program of citizen-science research for high school students.

“Going solar helps Roanoke City Public Schools protect their budgets against volatility in utility costs that is likely in the future,” said Anthony Smith, President and Co-founder of Secure Solar Futures. “And hosting solar energy systems on site makes RCPS a leader in protecting the environment while offering students hands-on opportunities to learn about renewable energy and tap into the 21st century economy.”

Click here to read the full news release about Roanoke City Public Schools.

Written by: Staff Author