On October 20th, 2016, Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) and Secure Futures LLC co-hosted the solar dedication ceremony at Monticello High School to celebrate the largest installed solar photovoltaic array on a public school system in the Commonwealth of Virginia, totaling 1.1MW on six Albemarle schools.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe keynoted the event, unveiling an update to his Administration’s 2014 Virginia Energy Plan. Titled “Energy in the New Virginia Economy”, the update provides a report of the progress made by the McAuliffe administration in its strategic energy objectives since 2014.
Governor McAuliffe highlighted the progress distributed solar generation has made in Virginia since he took office in 2014, noting that installed net metering capacity in the Commonwealth has more than doubled in the last two years. He went on to praise ACPS for being an integral contributor to the recent growth in Virginia’s distributed solar capacity, which promotes economic activity and increases environmental resiliency within the Commonwealth.
“Today’s installation is the perfect venue to formally unveil an update on the progress we are making toward ensuring Virginia is a leader in the global energy economy,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking in front of Monticello High School. “The clean energy sector has been a central part of our efforts to build a new Virginia economy and that effort has paid off as revenue in the sector has grown four-fold to $2 billion. The Albemarle County Public Schools project embodies the countless benefits of growing the clean industry such as lower energy bills and carbon emissions, more education for our students, and economic activity for our local businesses.”
Other speakers at the event included Albemarle County Public School Superintendent Dr. Pam Moran, Monticello High School Principle Dr. Jesse Turner, Secure Futures CEO Dr. Tony E. Smith, and Secure Futures Business Development Coordinator and ACPS graduate Amory Fischer.
“We are thrilled to work with ACPS, as the school district charts new territory in the Commonwealth. This collaboration not only benefits the schools in energy savings and curriculum enhancement, but it also creates a positive precedent for other school systems to follow,” said Dr. Tony Smith, CEO of Secure Futures. “We’re very thankful to the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development for the $500,000 REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) grant that made financing for this project possible with City National Bank and Virginia Community Capital.”
Secure Futures partnered with three solar installers for the 1.1 MW solar array on six Albemarle County Public Schools, using American made SolarWorld USA panels. MTV Solar and Wind LLC installed 329 kW on Greer Elementary School, Albemarle high School and Brownsville Elementary School. Aurora Energy Inc and Got Electric LLC installed the remaining 770 kW of solar energy on Baker-Butler Elementary School, Monticello High School, and Sutherland Middle School. Greenehurlocker PLC provided business counsel for the project transactional documents.
The Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Secure Futures and ACPS represents a milestone in Virginia, as the first solar installation on a public school system in the Commonwealth under the 2013 Pilot PPA Program legislation. With zero capital investment by ACPS and annual savings projections of $3,800, the system will provide 22% of the annual electricity requirements for the six schools it serves.
For select media coverage of the solar dedication, please follow the links below:
- Governor McAuliffe Unveils Energy Plan Update Highlighting Achievements in Virginia Energy Economy, Governor’s Office, October 20th 2016
- Six Albemarle schools first in Virginia to enter solar panel agreement, Newsplex CBS 19, October 20th 2016
- Governor Highlights Virginia Energy Progress at School Solar Project, Solar Industry Magazine, October 21st 2016
- Solar Energy to Help Power Six Albemarle Schools, USDA Rural Development, October 20th 2016