Sun Tribe Solar, a leading Virginia-based solar energy company, announced today that they have been selected by Middlesex County Public Schools to enter into a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) for a 1.01MW solar energy system that will provide 100% of the electricity needed to power St. Clare Walker Middle School and Middlesex Elementary School. Middlesex County Public Schools will make no capital investment, and Sun Tribe Solar is funding the system through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) at a record-low 6.84₵ per kilowatt hour.
This system will be only the second of its kind in a Virginia public school environment and the largest to date in the state.
Sun Tribe Solar will utilize its in-house engineering and construction teams to design, permit and build the facility. Sun Tribe will own and operate the clean energy system for the 25-year PPA term, which is expected to produce 1.6 GWh annually. Under the terms of the 25-year solar PPA, Middlesex County Public Schools is expected to save over $2.5 million in electricity costs.
“Our team is proud to be offering schools pathways to transition to renewable energy that come with financial savings. These facilities reduce carbon footprints while saving millions of dollars in the process.” said Devin Welch, partner at Sun Tribe Solar. “Our partnership with Middlesex County on this project is allowing them to redirect funding from electricity bills to its core mission: educating the next generation of leaders.”
“With absolutely no investment by the school system or county and such substantial annual savings anticipated, this is a big win for Middlesex,” remarked superintendent Dr. Peter M. Gretz. “The hands-on, authentic learning opportunities for our students are equally valuable. We’re proud to partner with Sun Tribe to lead the way for other school divisions to pursue these solutions in the future. ”
The Middlesex County Schools are known for exemplary stewardship of public funds, especially for efficient maintenance of school facilities and energy conservation. Middlesex was the only school division in the United States to be recognized by the National School Plant Management Association with the Platinum Level certification recognizing exemplary physical plant maintenance and operations. They now stand with only six other school divisions in Virginia—Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Loudon and Stafford—that have attained the Platinum Level award.
“Sun Tribe quickly demonstrated passion and expertise and we were immediately drawn to the company’s focus on mission and purpose,” commented Middlesex school board member Garland Harrow. “Both of our organizations are committed to excellence and responsible stewardship, so this partnership just makes sense. We’re thrilled about the future and hope other divisions will explore this wonderful opportunity.”
Sun Tribe Solar has been working with Virginia schools to provide affordable alternatives for solar energy and was recently named a solar partner for VAIS (Virginia Association of Independent Schools).
Construction on the Middlesex County Public Schools solar array is set to begin in early 2018.
About Middlesex County Public Schools
The Middlesex County Public Schools are located in Middlesex, VA, a traditionally-rural community established on the middle of three peninsulas that border the Chesapeake Bay about 75 miles east of the state’s capital. With an annual budget of just over 16 million dollars, MCPS serves approximately 1250 students who consistently achieve top academic honors within the region and state. One of only 5 in 2017 to be named to the AP Honor Roll and the only division in the nation to earn Platinum Level certification by the National School Plant Management Association that same year, the Middlesex Schools are a recognized leader in academic excellence and operational efficiency.
About Sun Tribe Solar
Sun Tribe Solar is a leading solar energy company based in Charlottesville, VA. The Sun Tribe team has over 550MW of renewable energy design and installation experience and has worked with organizations such as the University of Virginia, Carilion Health System, and Northrop Grumman to help them achieve their renewable energy goals. Sun Tribe Solar is one of the fastest growing private solar energy companies in Virginia and is a fully insured, Class A Alternative Energy Systems contractor licensed in the Commonwealth. For more information on how Sun Tribe Solar can help strengthen your financial operations while reinforcing your brand’s commitment to sustainability, please visit http://www.suntribesolar.com.
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