ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Albemarle County Public Schools has become the first school district in the state to enter a solar Power Purchase Agreement.
On Thursday, Governor Terry McAuliffe was at Monticello High School for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the milestone.
Monticello High and five other schools in the district are now outfitted with a total of more than 3,000 solar panels provided by Staunton-based company, Secure Futures.
With the agreement, the schools are able to buy the energy generated by the panels at a predetermined rate.
School officials say the program will not only save money and energy, but simultaneously provide students with a learning opportunity.
"We're excited to have six schools up and running," said assistant director of building services for Albemarle County Schools, Lindsay Snoddy. "We have live data collection systems and know exactly what they're producing in real time and our students and teachers are going to be using that data to integrate into the classroom learning and do some real project-based learning with it."
"To have all these students here today, seeing this, understanding that it's reducing the carbon footprint, creating new jobs, great for the environment, great for the economy," said McAuliffe. "This is a win-win and this is the first school district in Virginia to do it. I hope every other school district in Virginia is watching this and saying we need to do this."
He also unveiled an update to his 2014 Energy Plan, titled "Energy in the New Virginia Economy," the details of which are attached to this article.