Campus Sustainability

Twenty North Carolina Schools Receive Solar Educational Package

Nonprofit organization NC GreenPower recently announced the recipients of its 2022 Solar+ Schools grant program. The program provides K–12 schools across North Carolina with the funds to establish a 5-kW solar energy system on campus, according to a news release. In addition to a solar photovoltaic (PV) array, with an estimated value of $42,000, each school also receives a weather station, data monitoring, a STEM curriculum and teacher training materials. Twenty schools were selected to receive the grant this year and join 56 others awardees that have received the grant since the program’s inception in 2015.

A news release from Rockford Elementary School, one of this year’s winners, reports that the solar arrays at other schools generate an average of 8.026 kilowatt hours per year. The school’s estimated savings on electricity for the year could amount to about $800 per year. In total, the Solar+ Schools program has saved its winners about $68,400 in electricity costs since 2015.

“I am excited about the real-world, ands-on experiences that this grant will provide for the students at Rockford Elementary,” said former Rockford elementary Principal Dr. Matthew White. “I know that the incoming principal, Laura Whitaker, is looking forward to this, as well. I am also thankful for the continued partnerships with NC GreenPower, NC State Employees Credit Union, Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation and our Surry County Schools Educational Foundation for their support of Rockford Elementary.”

The NC GreenPower Board of Directors’ review committee met earlier this year to evaluate applications and determine this year’s winners. The twenty schools selected mark the highest number of winners in a single year in the program’s history. The press release also indicated that six more winning schools will be announced later this summer.

“Surry County Schools is beyond excited to work with NC GreenPower once again,” said Dr. Travis L. Reeves, district superintendent. “When Meadowview Magnet Middle School received this distinction in 2015, the district knew that installing solar technology on campus would prove to be a powerful educational tool for our students. Now, with the addition of Rockford Elementary School’s solar installation, Surry County Schools can continue to inspire the next generation of STEM leaders. In Surry County, our mission is to help students design their dreams and grow as leaders. Opportunities for students to have hands-on interactions with cutting-edge technology assists the district with this mission and will make a meaningful impact on the lives of students.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].