The movement of schools in Virginia going solar is growing. In the past six years, the amount of solar installed on schools has grown over a hundredfold. In our recent national report on solar schools, Virginia ranked 8th in the nation for the amount of solar installed on K-12 schools.
Despite this progress, only 3% of Virginia’s schools have gone solar and not all communities have equal access to the opportunity. We want to ensure that all schools can access the benefits of going solar, including reduced energy bills, enhanced STEM education, workforce development, and healthier communities. Let’s get to work on sharing the benefits of solar for all schools in the Commonwealth.
Expanding Solar Access in Southwest Virginia
While solar on schools is growing exponentially across Virginia, Southwest Virginia has long been excluded from this growth due to limits on solar power by Appalachian Power. School districts and local governments in the region had been placing solar projects on hold until a new agreement with the utility could be negotiated. Thanks to the dedicated advocacy of local governments and schools, Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia, and our partners in Virginia, the burdensome utility barriers to solar have now been removed.
Be a Spark for Solar at Your School
Last year, Generation180 supporters spoke up about why we needed legislation to lift Dominion Energy’s limit on power purchase agreements (PPAs). With your help, the Virginia Clean Economy Act was passed and removed this barrier. With the option available to go solar with no upfront costs, solar is accessible and affordable for schools throughout Dominion’s territory. Now, your school just needs a spark to help make it happen.
We provide a wealth of resources to help you get started right in your own community in Virginia. Use our Solar Schools Campaign Toolkit below as a step-by-step grassroots organizing guide for advocating for solar at your school/district. Once you have buy-in to go solar, you can use our How-to Guide to learn about the steps of the solar development process, including an introduction to solar financing for schools.
Report on Solar Schools in VA
Powering a Brighter Future in Virginia
Generation180’s report (updated in January 2020) shows how installation of solar at schools in Virginia has exploded thanks to a state policy that enabled schools to go solar without paying any upfront capital costs. Read the report to find a list of solar schools in Virginia, learn about the trends, and get inspired by success stories.
Spotlight on Solar Schools in Virginia
Energy News Network: “Contract deal lifts Virginia utility’s cap on public entities’ solar aspirations” – June 15, 2021
Virginia Mercury: “Despite lawmakers lifting caps on school and government solar, COVID-19 slowed growth” – June 11, 2021
Solar Power World: “Virginia solar advocates lobby to open net metering and PPAs to schools, municipalities in APCO territory” – June 9, 2021
Augusta Free Press: “Charles City County Public Schools awarded $500K grant for solar, energy efficiency upgrades” – March 27, 2021
Solar Power World: “BrightSuite Solar, Sun Tribe installing solar systems at 21 Virginia schools” – December 11, 2020
Virginian-Pilot: “Hampton Roads public schools eye solar arrays, mirroring a statewide trend” – August 19, 2020