Together, FCPS and Fairfax County Move Closer to Expanding Solar Power Opportunities
Vendor contracts were announced today as part of an ongoing partnership with Fairfax County that will potentially expand the use of solar energy to 87 Fairfax County public schools and facilities. This is the largest power purchase agreement in the state for a municipality to date.
“The notification of the award is another successful point in our journey to move FCPS toward increased adoption of renewable energy sources,” according to FCPS School Board Chair Karen Corbett Sanders. “Our ongoing sustainability efforts are worthy of highlighting. FCPS has achieved an annual reduction of 14.5 percent in total energy use division-wide since 2014, a cost savings of more than $31 million. Our move toward solar reinforces the School Board’s commitment to our environmental stewardship responsibilities. Pursuant to School Board policy, FCPS will continue to take bold, innovative and sustained actions to help our country achieve climate stabilization. There are still many issues to navigate as we move forward with solar energy efforts that will require cooperation at all levels of government to ensure success.”
“We’re excited to be partnering with the County in a movement that’s good for our students, families and our environment, “said Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand. “Lower energy costs through solar power purchase agreements will enable FCPS to save millions of dollars while freeing up additional funds for classroom investments. We look forward to working with the County to expand this initiative to as many FCPS schools and facilities as possible. Our solar investment will also become an amazing learning lab for our students to reinforce the value and sustainability of solar energy.”
FCPS has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for having 173 schools earn Energy Star certification and as Energy Star Partner of the Year in 2017, 2018, and 2019. One hundred thirty-four schools participate in the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools Program; of those, 16 have achieved the highest honor in that program, Green Flag status, and three of those schools have achieved permanent Green Flag status. FCPS has also been recognized with a 2019 Virginia Energy Efficiency Leadership Award from the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council; platinum certification from the Virginia School Board Association’s Green School Divisions certification program; and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments 2019 Climate Energy Leadership Award.
FCPS was one of the first regional school districts in the nation to install equipment to help capture energy from the sun. Shortly after the 1973 oil embargo, several regional school districts began experimenting with the use of solar power. In 1977, FCPS opened Terraset Elementary School which incorporated solar heat collector tubes that would capture energy from the sun. Five other schools have installed demonstration solar panels on their rooftops and there are solar powered flashing school zone signs posted along Fairfax County roadways.
The 87 eligible schools being considered for solar modifications include:
South County MS
West Springfield ES
For more information, contact the FCPS Office of Communication and Community Relations at 571-423-1200.