Augusta County to install over 4,000 solar panels on seven schools

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) -- On Monday, Augusta County Public Schools announced that it has signed an agreement with Secure Futures Solar of Staunton to install solar panels on seven school campuses across the county.

"Just a win, win situation all the way around. We're really excited," said Augusta County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Eric Bond.

The schools’ solar energy system will have a capacity of 1.8 megawatts, enough energy to power 279 average U.S. homes, making it the largest solar power installation at any institution of education in the Shenandoah Valley.

"It started with a conversation two of our student leaders at Fort Defiance and now it's expanded to seven different schools in Augusta County. So we're really excited about the opportunity and about the project," said Dr. Bond.

Panels will be installed on the roofs at Wilson Middle School, Wilson Elementary School, Riverheads High School, Riverheads Elementary School, Cassell Elementary and Fort Defiance High School. A ground-mounted array will be installed at Clymore Elementary School.

"We will be installing well over 4,000 panels and the panels will each produce about 350 watts of electricity," said Tony Smith with Secure Futures.

The deal will also save the county some money on electricity.

"For those schools, we're going to offset, about 25 percent of their electricity requirements," said Smith.

Dr. Bond said this deal is just the beginning for solar power in county schools.

"The seven schools that were selected were newer roof systems that we have," said Dr. Bond. "So as we go and replace older roofs, then we'll have conversations with secure futures about maybe going in and implementing solar panels on newer roofs as we replace roof systems."