ORANGE, Va., June 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Orange County Public Schools has signed an agreement with Secure Futures Solar of Staunton to install and operate solar panels at eight facilities across the school division. Together, solar arrays will generate a total capacity of 2.5 megawatts of power, providing nearly half of the total electricity for the facilities while generating enough clean energy to run the equivalent of 400 average homes and avoid more than 2,500 tons of carbon dioxide pollution per year.
In addition to the planned solar panels, three school campuses have received roof restoration to make them ready to hold solar arrays. Restoration work allows the facilities to avoid replacing their roofs, which would have been required in the next few years whether they got solar panels or not. The school division will receive $11.5 million in economic benefits from avoided costs for roof replacements and reduced demand for utility power over the next 25 years.
OCPS Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Cecil Snead, stated: "Orange County Public Schools is fortunate to engage in forward thinking about fiscally responsible energy consumption while also providing a rich learning opportunity for the students. I am excited about the myriad of possibilities that this partnership affords us as a school system."
Orange County Public Schools will receive solar energy equipment and complete roof restoration work at no upfront capital cost through a 25-year Solar Self Generation Agreement with Secure Futures. Over that term, the company will operate and maintain the solar energy system, providing the capacity for the schools to generate electricity at a cost lower than typically available from the local electric utility.
"Orange County Schools is leading the way in sustainability that's both environmental and financial," said Anthony "Tony" Smith, president and CEO of Secure Futures. "Rooftop solar will cut their electric bills while roof restoration will free up capital for other vital school improvements, thus providing relief to taxpayers while offering curriculum enhancements that will inspire students and teachers for years."
A total of eight solar arrays will be installed at seven different campuses and facilities. Two arrays will be installed at Orange County High School, one array on the main building and another array on the field house. Then, one solar array will be installed at each of six other facilities: the Taylor Education Administration Complex, Prospect Heights Middle School, Orange Elementary School, Locust Grove Primary School, Locust Grove Elementary School and Locust Grove Middle School.
With a capacity of 945 kilowatts, the solar panels installed at Locust Grove Middle School will be among the largest solar arrays placed on a rooftop in the state of Virginia and will generate approximately 90% of the electricity required by the school during the course of the year.
The decision to add solar power is consistent with the commitment of Orange County Schools to green improvements that save money, including installation of energy efficient lighting, replacing windows in all older schools, and improved HVAC controls and equipment.
About Orange County Public Schools Orange County Public Schools serves pre-K through Grade 12 students on 10 campuses throughout Orange County, Virginia. Our mission is to provide the highest quality education for all students in a safe and caring environment. Our graduates will master 21st Century skills necessary to work and live productively, with an emphasis on reading, writing, mathematics and reasoning. Our graduates will be health-conscious, life-long learners who demonstrate good character and productive citizenship. Learn more at http://www.ocss-va.org/.
About Secure Futures, LLC As a market and policy leader, Secure Futures builds, owns, manages and funds affordable Resilient Solar Solutions® for hospitals, schools and businesses. Headquartered in Staunton, Va., the company combines state-of–the-art solar technology with an innovative business model to make commercial scale solar readily affordable in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, helping customers to realize the economic, environmental, and community benefits of solar energy. In 2017, Secure Futures became a Certified B Corporation®, having met the exacting standards for social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability established by the nonprofit B Lab®. For more information: www.securefutures.solar
Cecil C. Snead, II, Ed.D. Superintendent Orange County Public Schools 540-661-4550 (office) [email protected]