St. Anne's-Belfield: STEM + Solar Education for Future Leaders


Project Overview

With origins dating back to 1856, St. Anne’s-Belfield has a 163-year history of educating some of Virginia’s – and our country’s – finest leaders through a commitment to high academic standards, diversity, and access to highly skilled educators. Today, students from 15 countries enjoy small class sizes and a host of extracurricular activities on two campuses over 55 acres in Charlottesville, Virginia.

With a deeply engaged student, parent, and alumni community, St. Anne’s-Belfield was looking for more than just an energy source – they were looking for an opportunity where their curious students could engage in STEM learning opportunities through solar and administrators could see significant energy bill savings while also preserving the high aesthetic standards their school community has come to expect.

David Lourie

Head of School, St. Anne's-Belfield School

“In order to deliver on our core purpose, to inspire and prepare the next generation of exemplary citizens, we have a responsibility to show leadership. This is especially true of investing in a sustainable future. By partnering with Sun Tribe we can teach a new generation of our students about using technology for positive impact.”

St. Anne's-Belfield Solar System Brings STEM Education to Students

Project Highlights

Sun Tribe Solar - A Leader in Virginia Solar

$380,000 Saved

Minimum amount saved by St. Anne’s-Belfield thanks to Sun Tribe’s solar system.

Sun Tribe Solar - A Leader in Virginia Solar

10,000 Tons

Approximate carbon footprint offset thanks to Sun Tribe’s solar system, which provides 20 percent of St. Anne’s-Belfield’s electricity.

Sun Tribe Solar - A Leader in Virginia Solar

1,114 Panels

Number of solar panels installed as part of Sun Tribe’s partnership with St. Anne’s-Belfield.

More Details

Creating a STEM Experience and Enhancing School Sustainability

Working with Sun Tribe, St. Anne’s-Belfield installed a solar system on the buildings at their Learning Village, centered around the picturesque Chandler Courtyard: a high-visibility area used for school events. The partnership was part of a larger school-wide sustainability initiative, where St. Anne’s-Belfield invested in LEED certification and looked to make their campuses more energy efficient.

Sun Tribe’s work will save St. Anne’s-Belfield $380,000 over the course of their 30-year Power Purchase Agreement, with the school ultimately taking ownership of the 1,114 panel system thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. Sun Tribe’s system is now a central part of the STEM learning experience for students throughout St. Anne’s Belfield – it remains a high-profile visual reminder of the school’s commitment to sustainability and science.

About NEED – The National Energy Education Development Project

The entire team at St. Anne’s-Belfield felt strongly that providing an educational component to their solar project was critical to supporting their broader institutional mission. So Sun Tribe partnered with the NEED Project – a national non-profit that works with students, educators, businesses, governments, and community leaders to inspire the next generation of renewable energy experts. The NEED Project’s workshop for St. Anne’s-Belfield math and science teachers provided them with kits, activities, and resources they would need to incorporate this new solar array into their curriculums.

Today, Sun Tribe works with NEED in public and private schools throughout Virginia – ensuring that materials are aligned with SOLs and Common Core standards, and that educators have the resources they need to teach their students about the power of solar.