Dominion Energy is expanding its Solar for Students program in Virginia to give more students the chance to observe and learn how power is generated by the sun.
The hands-on learning program provides a permanent solar array right outside the classroom, along with materials, training and curriculum to engage children in learning the science behind renewable energy.
Solar for Students was introduced as a pilot at four schools three years ago, and this year, it is being introduced at five schools and a children’s museum. Dominion Energy and its partners will host “Solarbration” events this spring to showcase solar projects and give students, local officials and others the chance to learn more about the initiative.
In addition, the company just announced plans to expand the program to eight schools in southwest Virginia. Funding for Solar for Students is provided through the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.
“We are very pleased to widen the scope of Solar for Students to reach more students and more regions of Virginia,” says Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “The program has proven to be popular and well-received by both educators and students. It offers the materials and means to engage and teach young people the science behind generating clean, renewable solar energy – an energy source that will play a big part in their futures.”
Each Solar for Students participant receives a 1.2 kW solar photovoltaic system, as well as technical support, educational materials and training. Each installation has a visual display in the classroom showing real-time data on the electricity being generated. Each array can generate enough electricity at maximum output to power 18 desktop computers.
The NEED Project (National Energy Education Development) administers the program by providing technical support, coordinating the installation of solar panels, preparing educational materials for students, and training the teachers.
Students can track the generation of electric power by viewing their data online and can challenge other participating schools around the world to a solar power match. Students will learn how weather and temperature impact solar electricity production, and they’ll also learn more about Virginia’s energy resources, notes Dominion.