Secure Solar Future Signs PPA with Mountain Empire Community College 


Secure Solar Future has signed a 25-year solar PPA with Mountain Empire Community College to develop a 777 kW solar power system on its campus in Big Stone Gap, Va. 

Secure Solar Futures will install a total of 1,679 panels manufactured by Jinko Solar at two locations. Dalton-Cantrell Hall will host 117 kW of solar capacity, covering 47% of the building’s electricity demand. Five buildings located near each other will host an additional 659 kW of solar capacity, covering 29% of power demand in those facilities. 

In its first year, the project will produce 1,032,400 kWh of electric power, enough energy to power 142 average homes while avoiding the equivalent of more than 732 metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution, says the company.

After installation, Secure Solar Futures will own, operate and maintain the solar equipment and sell the energy produced to MECC for the term of the PPA. At the conclusion of the PPA term, MECC will take ownership of the solar power system at no additional cost, producing its own energy for the remainder of the equipment’s expected 35- to 40-year productive lifespan. 

“This initiative is not just about energy sustainability; it’s a significant stride towards creating meaningful educational and career opportunities in our community,” says Kristin Westover, president of MECC. 

“By integrating solar technology with workforce development, we’re not only contributing to environmental conservation but also paving the way for future generations to pursue rewarding careers in the energy sector in SWVA, the heart of energy production.” 

Organizations and initiatives that helped develop the project included the Southwest Solar Workgroup, and the Solar Finance Fund, along with the feeder school districts and Career and Technical Education programs in Wise and Lee Counties. 

MECC is a comprehensive two-year college serving residents of Lee, Scott, Wise, and Dickenson counties, and the City of Norton.  

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