The Future is Bright

children learning about solar energy

Dominion Energy has expanded its Solar for Students program in Virginia to give more students the chance to observe and learn how power is generated by the sun. The hands-on learning program provides a permanent solar array right outside the classroom and the materials, training and curriculum needed to engage children in learning the science behind renewable energy.

Solar for Students was introduced as a pilot at four schools three years ago, and this year it is being introduced at five schools and a children's museum. Dominion Energy and its partners will host "Solarbration" events this spring to showcase the latest solar projects and give the community the chance to learn more about this collaborative learning endeavor. In addition, the company just announced plans to expand the program to eight schools in Southwest Virginia. Funding for Solar for Students is provided through the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.

Each Solar for Students participant receives a 1.2-kilowatt photovoltaic system that converts sunlight into electric energy, as well as technical support, educational materials and training for educators. Each solar installation has a visual display in the classroom showing real-time data on the electricity being generated. Each array can generate enough electricity at maximum output to power 18 desktop computers, 40 ten-gallon aquariums or fifteen 42-inch LED televisions.

The NEED Project (National Energy Education Development) administers the program by providing technical support, coordinating the installation of solar panels, preparing educational materials for students, and training the teachers.

Students can track the generation of electric power by viewing their data online and can challenge other participating schools around the world to a solar power match. Students will learn how weather and temperature impact solar electricity production, and they'll learn more about Virginia's energy resources.

For more on this program, visit www.dominionenergy.com/solarforschools.

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