Schools Receiving 20-kilowatt Rooftop Solar Arrays from NC GreenPower
May 12, 2023
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- Solar+ Schools awards 20-kilowatt solar installations to 15 schools
- State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation provides generous grant to program
RALEIGH, NC – NC GreenPower is excited to announce their largest grant award yet for the Solar+ Schools program. Selected schools will receive a solar educational package that includes a 20-kilowatt (kW) solar array, STEM curricula, teacher training and more.
New for 2023, the program awardees will receive a grant to pay for all of the project’s construction costs, expected to be approximately $55,000-$75,000. Schools should raise $3,500 to cover any future operations and maintenance expenses. The included weather station and data monitoring will incorporate live information from the array into classrooms. Teachers will be able to compare different weather scenarios and involve students in reading and interpreting the energy data.
The schools who have currently accepted the grant are:
- Cape Hatteras Secondary School, Dare County
- CB Eller Elementary School, Wilkes County
- First Flight Elementary School, Dare County
- Lakeforest Elementary School, Pitt County
- Manteo Middle School, Dare County
- MINA Charter School, Lee County*
- Mulberry Elementary School, Wilkes County
- New Garden Friends School, Guilford County
- North Wilkes High School, Wilkes County
- Parkwood High School, Union County
- Parkwood Middle School, Union County
- Prospect Elementary School, Union County
- Victory Christian Academy, Halifax County*
*Indicates new county in the Solar+ Schools program
More will be announced later.
“We are very excited to be able to install larger systems for the first time and save schools even more on their energy bills. Removing the fundraising burden and simplifying the application process has been well received by our applicants and enabled additional schools to consider installing solar,” said Vicky McCann, vice president of NC GreenPower. “We are proud to continue educating younger generations about solar energy. By the end of next year, we will have reached more than 62,000 students across North Carolina.”
The Solar+ Schools program is open to all public and private K-12 schools in North Carolina. The installed 20-kW photovoltaic systems serve as educational tools and provide an energy impact. NC GreenPower expects the arrays to generate about 28,000 kilowatt-hours annually, potentially saving schools up to $3,000 per year and likely covering a significant portion of each school’s energy use. Collectively, NC GreenPower Solar+ Schools recipients have saved an estimated $88,000 in electricity expenses since the program’s introduction in 2015. Furthermore, the program’s STEM and solar curriculum training has benefited more than 280 teachers throughout the state.
NC GreenPower is also happy to announce that the member-funded State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Foundation is maintaining its generous support of Solar+ Schools. The SECU Foundation’s contribution will offer additional funding — up to $600,000 through 2024 — to assist with installation costs for selected public schools each year.
“SECU Foundation has been a supporter of NC GreenPower’s educational and incentive programs for many years and has enjoyed working together to raise greater awareness about renewable energy resources,” said Jama Campbell, SECU Foundation executive director. “We’re amazed to see how the Solar Schools program has grown and how students and communities all over the state are learning about how much energy we use and how it is generated. Our combined efforts are working to ensure that North Carolina communities have a cleaner and diverse energy supply.”
NC GreenPower’s McCann added, “We are appreciative of SECU members for their continued financial support and partnership, helping us improve the environment and increase solar education in our state.”
ABOUT NC GREENPOWER
Formed by Advanced Energy in 2003, NC GreenPower is a nonprofit whose mission is to expand public knowledge and acceptance of cleaner energy technologies to all North Carolinians through local, community-based initiatives. Since NC GreenPower’s inception, donors have supported more than 1,125 local renewable energy and carbon offset projects, producing 1.068 billion kilowatt-hours of green energy and mitigating nearly 123,800 tons of greenhouse gases. In 2015, NC GreenPower launched Solar+ Schools to support solar photovoltaic installations at K-12 schools. Contributions to NC GreenPower are tax deductible. www.ncgreenpower.org.
About SECU and SECU Foundation
A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, and federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), SECU has been providing employees of the state of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for over 85 years. SECU is the second largest credit union in the United States with $50 billion in assets. It serves over 2.7 million members through 274 branch offices, over 1,100 ATMs, Member Services Support via phone, www.ncsecu.org, and a Mobile App. The SECU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high-impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare, and human services. Since 2004, SECU Foundation has made a collective financial commitment of over $235 million for initiatives to benefit North Carolinians statewide.