Middlesex County Public Schools: A Virginia Solar School Leader

CASE STUDIESSchools

Project Overview

Middlesex County Public Schools is a national leader in providing educational opportunities while being good stewards of community resources. Working closely with Sun Tribe, Middlesex County Public Schools installed the first ground-mounted solar system at any school in Virginia and will be the first school district in the Commonwealth to have its schools 100% powered by on-site renewable energy. All while saving $4.74 million for taxpayers.

Dr. Peter Gretz

Superintendent, Middlesex County Public Schools

"With absolutely no investment by the school system or county and such substantial annual savings anticipated, this is a big win for Middlesex. The hands-on, authentic learning opportunities for our students are equally valuable."

Hands-on Learning About Solar in Schools - Middlesex Virginia

Project Highlights

Sun Tribe Solar - A Leader in Virginia Solar

$4.74 Million Saved

Amount Middlesex County Public Schools will save over the course of their partnership with Sun Tribe.

Sun Tribe Solar - A Leader in Virginia Solar

Hands-On Learning

Students from K-12 have access to age-appropriate learning opportunities and real-time monitoring of their solar system.

Sun Tribe Solar - A Leader in Virginia Solar

Zero. Zip. Zilch.

Middlesex County Public Schools capital investment required, thanks to a Power Purchase Agreement done in partnership with Sun Tribe.

More Details

Supporting Education Through Solar

Spend even a little time in Middlesex County with school administrators, educators, students, and staff and something becomes clear right away: this is a place completely and thoroughly dedicated to providing the best education possible for the community’s young people. But like school systems throughout the United States, Middlesex County Public Schools have increasingly been asked to do more with less.

So when leaders began looking for ways to save money while finding paths to increased educational opportunity, they quickly realized that solar could help them cut down their energy bills while providing hands-on learning opportunities for students of all ages. What they needed was the right partner – a partner who understood the proud heritage of a Virginia maritime community which had long dedicated itself to protecting important natural resources, and which was fully committed to ensuring that young families would want to continue to call the county home.

A Collaborative Process

From start to finish, Middlesex County Public Schools engaged in a collaborative process which led to the best possible result: a completely integrated solar system capable of saving money for the school district while finding new ways to bring solar into the classroom and encourage community involvement in the local schools. Case in point: visit the site today and you can see the educational displays made by one local young person as part of their Eagle Scout project.

That’s just the start. Through a partnership with the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, Middlesex County Public Schools and Sun Tribe worked maximizing the educational opportunities of their solar installation, including real-time monitoring that allows students and educators to analyze solar energy production, in addition to hands-on teacher training and custom curriculum development aligned with Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) objectives which have allowed teachers to bring the project into the classroom.

Read more about Middlesex County Schools going solar in The Washington Post, The Richmond Times Dispatch, and Broken Ground podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.