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Video: Fairfax County Students Speak at Board Meeting to Bring Solar Energy to Fairfax County Public Schools

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Check out the following press release (and video) from the Virginia Sierra Club. Great work – students should do this everywhere, and school systems should respond!

Fairfax County Students Speak at Board Meeting to Bring Solar Energy to Fairfax County Public Schools

Fairfax County, VA — On Thursday September 28, over 40 Fairfax County residents attended the Fairfax County School Board meeting in support of students delivering presentations and 1,545 petition signatures, urging solar panel installations on public schools. The meeting drew supporters of renewable energy, climate activism, solar choice and science education. Each student speech shared the benefits solar panels will have to reduce costs, create unique educational opportunities and increase clean energy use. “Installing Solar Panels would offer educational opportunities, provide an edge against increases in cost of electricity and reduce the county’s footprint. This would make us a leader as the world moves further towards clean energy.” said Neel Simpson, senior at Marshall High School. This student-led started in 2015, and is being supported by local environmental groups and community members.

Just 3 percent of the nation’s 125,000 schools use some form of solar energy. A recent report by the Solar Foundation found that 72,000 US schools could save money with solar, and that number will increase as use of solar energy increases. “The mission statement of FCPS is to inspire and empower student to meet high academic standards, lead health ethical lives and be responsible and innovative global citizens. Installing solar panels will help us achieve that mission in every respect. Kathryn, Junior James Madison High School. Schools could install panels on their roofs or elevate a field of panels over a parking lot. Those innovations would save most schools an average of $1 million over 30 years.

Arlington Public Schools is operating one of the nation’s largest net zero buildings of any kind.  Installing solar panels on Arlington County Public schools was more cost effective than higher efficiency windows. Solar programs in Virginia are allowing more customers to access renewable energy everyday, as the nation wide solar boom and demand from Virginia consumers has driven Dominion to incorporate more solar installations in their long term plans. Demand from schools and cost-savings for businesses can incentivize Dominion to accelerate installation of utility scale solar energy in Virginia.