AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Work is moving along on solar panels being installed on seven Augusta County schools.
The school system announced they would install the panels earlier this year. Augusta County Public Schools is working with Secure Futures, a Staunton-based company, to install the panels.
Greg Troxell, director of operations and maintenance for Augusta County Public schools, says becoming environmentally-friendly was a factor in the decision to add solar panels. Another factor was the savings it will bring to the school system.
"In the first five years, it's projected that we'll save around $95,000, and as time goes by, the savings will actually increase," Troxell said.
There will also be an educational benefit to the schools. Secure Futures will provide training and workshops for the teachers.
"They are going to provide us with educational materials for our teachers and training for our teachers so they can pass on this knowledge to our students which we think is very important," Troxell said.
Solar panels are being installed at Clymore Elementary School, Fort Defiance High School, Wilson Middle School, Wilson Elementary School, Riverheads Elementary School and Riverheads High School. Troxell said the age of the school's roof was a factor in deciding which schools would receive panels. They hope to put panels on other schools in the county once roofs are replaced.
At Clymore Elementary School, the panels are on an unused portion of the school property. Secure Futures said that once the panels are installed, they hope to plant pollinator plants around the panels.
Troxell said depending on the weather, the panels could be completed by the end of February.