Spotlight

NC Solar + Schools Grows in 2020

Ten K-12 schools across North Carolina were awarded funds through NC GreenPower’s Solar+ Schools grant program for 2020, the first full-scale year for the program following a five-year pilot period. Two of the schools are in Stanly and Union counties, served by Pee Dee Electric and Union Power Cooperative, respectively. The schools are currently raising a portion of funds required to install 3- to 5-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) solar arrays on campus.

Alleghany High School in Sparta and Cove Creek School in Watauga County, both served by Blue Ridge Energy, were recipients of Solar+ Schools grants in 2017. Cove Creek held a ribbon-cutting for its 5-kilowatt solar PV installation in May 2019. The two were among the initial schools that are served by an electric co-op to participate in the program. In addition, Jones-Onslow EMC serves Queens Creek Elementary in Onslow County, which installed a 5-kW PV solar system through the program in 2017.

“We were thrilled to assist both Alleghany High School and Cove Creek with these exciting and innovative projects, and we were glad they applied for and were selected to be part of this program,” said Blue Ridge Energy Director of Energy Solutions Jason Lingle. “These projects will educate the students about new and emerging technologies in the energy space that should help shape a brighter future for all of us.”

Blue Ridge Energy’s Jason Lingle (fourth from left) at the 2019 Cove Creek ribbon cutting

Each school installation includes a weather station, real-time monitoring, an associated curriculum and training for teachers.

“By the end of 2020, we will have reached more than 31,000 students across North Carolina,  and we look forward to helping educate students about energy with these installations,” said Vicky McCann, vice president of NC GreenPower.

The Raleigh-based NC GreenPower is administered by Advanced Energy, a nonprofit that focuses on energy efficiency for residential, commercial and industrial markets, and electric transportation. Applications for 2021 Solar+ Schools grants will be available in January.

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