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Western Branch Becomes First Va. High School In Solar Partnership Program With Dominion Power


Dominion Virginia Power and Chesapeake Public Schools announced recently that Western Branch High School in Chesapeake will be the first high school in Virginia to host a solar energy system under Dominion‘s Solar Partnership Program. Construction is underway to install more than 3,000 rooftop solar panels that will generate over 1 MW of electricity at peak levels, enough to power more than 250 homes.

Western Branch also will be the first partner under the program to incorporate Dominion’s Solar Education Plan, which will provide a train-the-trainer workshop and materials designed to provide a hands-on learning environment that extends beyond the classroom.

“Students at Western Branch High School will have an opportunity to experience and learn about renewable energy from a system that is right on their school’s rooftop,” said Brett Crable, Dominion’s director of New Technology & Energy Conservation. “In addition to the valuable information Dominion will gain from this partnership, students will learn how solar photovoltaics work and how the system interacts with the electric grid.”

With Dominion Virginia Power’s Solar Partnership Program, Dominion leases rooftop or ground space at commercial, industrial or public facilities for the installation of solar panels. The program is designed to expand Dominion’s understanding of community-based solar energy by studying its impact and assessing its benefits while supporting and encouraging solar energy growth and education in Virginia. The energy generated by the solar panels is delivered to the power grid.

Dominion Virginia Power already has completed solar installations at the Canon Industrial Resource Technologies facility in Gloucester, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Prologis in Sterling, Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, and Virginia Union University and Capital One in Richmond. These facilities and others under construction represent a total of 7.75 megawatts of solar generating capacity.

“Chesapeake Public Schools would like to thank Dominion Virginia Power for partnering with our school division,” said Dr. James Roberts, superintendent of Chesapeake Public Schools. “It is an honor to be the first high school in Virginia to benefit from such a unique opportunity. Our students will be able to experience first-hand the future of solar energy.”

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In addition to the solar partnership with Dominion, CPS produces wind energy from a turbine installed at Grassfield High School. CPS is also partnering with the National Energy Education Development project to provide site-based training on wind energy for educators.

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