Two School Divisions in Southwest Virginia Go Solar

Wise and Lee County schools hire Secure Futures to install a total of 3.2 megawatts of solar power systems on 9 campuses

Posted: October 19, 2021 at 12:01 p.m. EDT|Update: 6 hours ago

STAUNTON, Virginia., October 19, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Secure Futures Solar signed an agreement with school divisions in Wise and Lee Counties Southwest virginia install on-site solar energy systems at nine campuses in both counties. Both school divisions will receive solar power equipment at no up-front cost funded by power purchase agreements. All solar projects will also include, at no additional cost, services to support workforce development and to add clean energy lessons to school curricula.

Secure Futures Logo (PRNewsfoto / Secure Futures LLC)

In Sage county, solar power systems will be installed at four elementary and middle school campuses under 20-year PPA, expected to save the school division $ 7.5 million over the life of solar equipment by helping to reduce the demand for electricity from the local electric utility. In Lee County, five elementary, middle and high schools will house solar power systems under a 25-year PPA, which is expected to save $ 4 million in energy costs avoided. Three campuses of Lee County Schools will also receive roof restoration services under the school division’s solar power purchase agreement.

Sage county represents the first “ambassador” project in a campaign known as Securing Solar to Southwest virginia founded to install solar power, create well-paying clean energy jobs and establish a local solar energy industry in the coal region of Southwest virginia. The initiative, a partnership between Secure Futures and the Solar Workgroup of Southwest virginia, has committed to install five solar ambassador projects over a two-year period with a total generation capacity of ten megawatts.

“We are delighted that the campaign has reserved its first two projects within days of each other,” said the president of Secure Futures. Anthony smith. “The switch to solar power will help schools in Wise and Lee Counties save money on electricity which they can invest in their basic educational mission. Both projects will also provide a ramp for local workers to the solar industry, the fastest growing job creator in United States today.”

The Securing Solar campaign supports economic development of the coal region that is both financially and environmentally sustainable through a unique approach to seed a locally based solar industry in Southwest virginia.

First, the campaign offers vocational training to help local workers qualify as certified solar installers through a partnership between Mountain Empire Community College and local vocational technology and high schools. But, unlike other workforce development efforts that train workers but do not offer them immediate employment (an approach known as a ‘push and pray’), Securing Solar will directly train workers. Newly trained solar installers to work on live projects in the region (an approach called “demand-pull”).

Second, the campaign founded a local solar installation company, Lonesome Pine Solar, to employ newly trained workers on projects developed by the Securing Solar campaign. Starting with Wise and Lee County Schools, the start-up will continue to employ workers to carry out future Securing Solar projects. Once the campaign is over, Lonesome Pine will remain to provide on-site solar power to commercial and residential solar customers in Southwest virginia.

“We hope that the momentum of our ambassadorial projects will stimulate demand for additional schools, hospitals, businesses and homeowners to switch to solar energy in Southwest virginia and consider Lonesome Pine as their first choice, ”said Smith. “With enough activity, this local effort can generate more solar jobs and spill over into local spending and investments that benefit the entire community.

Recent changes to state law covering Appalachian Power and Old Dominion Power utility territories have made distributed solar projects more viable in Southwest virginia. Bills passed by the Virginia General Assembly and sponsored by Sen. John edwards of Roanoke, Of the. Chris Hurst of Blacksbourg and Del. Terry kilgore of City Gate lifted restrictions on net metering and clarified that public entities such as schools, town halls, libraries and landfills are allowed to finance solar projects through power purchase contracts.

About Secure Futures, LLC
As a market and policy leader, Secure Futures builds, owns, manages and finances at an affordable price Resilient solar solutions® for colleges and universities, schools, hospitals and businesses. Situated at Staunton, Virginia., with offices in Richmond, Virginia, Wise, Go, and Charlotte, North Carolina, the company combines cutting-edge solar technology with an innovative business model to make commercial-scale solar power easily affordable in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, helping customers realize the economic, environmental benefits and community solar energy. As a certified B Corp®, Secure Futures has met the rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability established by the non-profit association B Lab®. For more information: www.securefutures.solar.

Media contact:

Erik Curren
Marketing advisor
Secure term solar
(540) 466-6128
[email protected]

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SOURCE Secure Futures LLC

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