Largest Solar Power System at any School Division in Virginia
The energy produced by arrays constructed on ten schools will provide approximately 24 percent of the Richmond Public Schools (RPS) system’s power needs. With no upfront capital costs to RPS, a 20-year power purchase agreement will provide energy savings to the school system.
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.
With a total capacity of 2.9 megawatts installed across the division, the schools’ solar panels will save RPS approximately $2 million in utility power costs over the next 20 years.
“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.”
“The RPS project represents a step towards Virginia’s goal to provide reliable, affordable 100% clean renewable energy to the Commonwealth,” continued Finnerty.
Grants Help Make Solar Savings a Reality
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.
When we look at our future, we know that we need to develop our renewable energy sources and reduce our carbon footprint. I’m proud of Richmond Public Schools for leading the way—you are setting a great example for other schools, and for your students.