As technology continues to progress and environmental urgency moves ahead there are many new ways to approach powering our world. Schools are a vital part of life as we know it. Virginia has recently made some pretty big news involving renewable energy and schools. Which Virginia school went totally solar? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to find out.
Schools are a great place to learn stuff, right? Well, some schools can teach us things even if we’re not students there. Bath County, along the beautiful hills and mountains in the western part of our state, has now become home to Virginia’s first 100% solar-powered school!
Valley Elementary will be the first school in Virginia to run entirely on solar power. This elementary school joins the list of ever growing solar schools across America actually.
In 2014 the non profit organization, The Solar Foundation, released a report announcing that over 3,700 K through 12 schools have now installed solar infrastructure. Big flat roofs on most schools make them excellent candidates to harness this renewable energy option. This has a pretty awesome economic impact as well. The average solar school saves about $21,000 per year on their energy bill. That’s enough to buy about 40 new tablets or give salary bumps or plan a lot more field trips to awesome science museums, just sayin!
The combined environmental effect is pretty powerful too. If about 72,000 schools went the solar school route it would offset nearly 1 million cars’ worth of heat trapping gases, which scientists around the world know are changing our climate. As of 2014, Virginia was ranked #31 in the nation for solar schools, but Valley Elementary is just one excellent example of a broader trend happening in the Commonwealth! The top 10 states to dig into solar power have been seeing positive results and are acting as an inspiration for the rest of the nation as well.