The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center is one of 16 schools Dominion Energy has added to its Solar for Students Program, giving students across Virginia and the Carolinas a hands-on experience with solar energy.
Nine schools in Virginia, one in North Carolina and six in South Carolina will have the unique chance to learn firsthand about harnessing solar energy from a solar array installed right outside the classroom. The program, which started in 2015 with four public schools, now includes a museum and 33 different schools.
“We’re excited to provide the opportunity for more children to learn about solar energy,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “This program will give students a better understanding of a renewable energy source that will play an important role in a clean energy future.”
Dominion Energy currently has more than 60 solar projects operating or under development in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, and owns the fourth-largest solar fleet among utility holding companies in the United States. Investing in solar energy is part of Dominion Energy’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Each participant will receive a 1.2-kilowatt photovoltaic system that converts sunlight into electric power, as well as technical support, educational materials and training for educators. Each solar array will have a visual display that shows students and faculty real-time data on the amount of electricity generated. Each array will generate enough electricity to power up to 18 desktop computers, 40 ten-gallon aquariums or 15 42-inch LED televisions.
The NEED Project (National Energy Education Development) will administer the program once again by providing technical support, coordinating the installation of solar panels, preparing educational materials for students and training the teachers.
Students will be able to track the generation of electric power by viewing their data online and can challenge other participating schools around the world to a solar power match. They will learn about their state’s energy resources and how weather and temperature impact solar electricity. Students will also help choose school colors or other designs for their solar array.
After the solar installations are completed, the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation will sponsor a “Solarbration” at each location to showcase the solar projects and give students, local officials and community members the chance to learn more about this collaborative learning project.
For more on this program, visit www.dominionenergy.com/solarforschools.