Western Branch High School/Dominion Virginia Power
- System Specs | 1 MW
- System Production | 1,330 MWh per year
- Environmental Benefits | 918 metric tons of carbon (the equivalent of one year’s electricity use for 126 typical homes) | 997,537 pounds of coal burned | 12.4 tanker truck’s worth of gasoline
Largest Virginia Rooftop Installation Provides Power to Grid
Established in 1968, Western Branch High School (WBHS) in Chesapeake, Va., is home to more than 2,000 students and 140 faculty. Its mission, according to the school’s website, is to “prepare students for a dynamic, global world,” and the school supports causes including breast-cancer awareness, anti-bullying and internet safety—which speaks to its broader concerns about issues beyond its own four walls.
The school’s unwavering commitment to making its community—and the world—a better place led it to explore putting solar panels on the roof. When Dominion Virginia Power (Dominion) approached the administration about becoming the site for its largest-ever rooftop solar array in the state, WBHS jumped at the chance.
Dominion chose Standard Solar to install the massive, 3,200-panel installation on the roof of the school because of its reputation for working well with utility partners, and its superior design, installation expertise and delivery of overall best value. For a project of this size, which will feed 1,330 MWh per year back into the wider electrical grid, the logistics of installation were challenging. But Standard Solar engineers and project managers worked closely with Dominion and school officials for a coordinated installation schedule, allowing construction to proceed without inconveniencing or interfering with student and school activities.
Not only will the 1 MW array ease grid congestion and provide enough electricity to power—up to 200 homes, it will function as an educational tool for the WBHS’ science classes. Dominion imparts real-time solar array data at a kiosk in the building’s lobby, as well as educational materials to promote hands-on learning for the students and new source of pride for the school.