Grant County Schools power on solar field in ribbon-cutting ceremony

Published: Jan. 22, 2019 at 6:15 PM EST
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Grant County Schools may be one of the smaller school districts in West Virginia, but on Tuesday, they powered on the largest net metered solar array in the entire state.

The solar array project is part of a $2.3 million Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract between Grant County Schools and CMTA Energy Solutions.

"It's a win-win for us," said Doug Lambert, Superintendent of Grant County Schools. "Eventually, we can start generating revenue because it's cost neutral. We will actually be producing electricity and putting it on the grid for other people to use."

With 1,448 solar panels, officials with CMTA project the solar field will produce 558,000 kWH, which is valued at over $1,000,000 of energy savings over a 15-year period. Those savings will go toward much-needed improvements to Grant County schools without the use of any public funds.

"Along with lighting, we're able to fund lighting upgrades throughout the district," said Salvador Loc, project manager for CMTA. "We're also able to add cooling to the main gymnasium at the high school and add HVAC controls for the district."

Aside from the financial benefits, though, Superintendent Lambert wants the panels to be a teaching tool for students.

"We feel it's being a good neighbor to the environment," said Lambert. "We want to educate our children that there are more ways to produce energy while not forgetting that coal is an important part of our economy."

Across the mountain in the Shenandoah Valley,

at seven Augusta County schools.