Solar Power for Albemarle County Public Schools

In tandem with local environmental groups, students in the Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) spearheaded a campaign supporting renewable energy which resulted in over one megawatt of solar on the rooftops of six local schools.

A portion of the 279 kW installation at Sutherland Middle School
A portion of the 279 kW installation at Sutherland Middle School

The student-led campaign included a petition drive, presentations to the School Board and Board of Supervisors, and a press conference at Henley Middle School in 2014. Later that year, ACPS issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from local solar companies. On April 2, 2015 the Albemarle School Board voted unanimously to support awarding the solar RFP bid to Secure Futures, a Staunton-based solar development company. ACPS reached a formal agreement with Secure Futures on May 28, 2015 to install a 1,099-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the rooftops of six Albemarle schools using all American-made equipment.

The project will generate an estimated 14% of the annual electricity requirements for the six schools, and include a public web-based monitoring system, interactive solar picnic tables, solar technology classroom kits, and curriculum enhancement tools donated by Secure Futures.

Under the 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Secure Futures installs, builds, owns, operates and maintains the solar photovoltaic system, and sells the electricity generated to ACPS. The agreement represents the first of its kind for a public school system in Virginia.

Project components:

  • Capital investment by ACPS:  $0.00
  • Projected average savings per year:  $3,800
  • Carbon Footprint reduction:   2,109,000+ pounds CO2/yearSolar Statistics on Albemarle County Public Schools








*Written by Amory Fischer (Business Development Coordinator:  Secure Futures, LLC)