In an effort to continue our mission of providing clean, reliable, and fairly priced electricity to the world, sometimes we need to take a step back and see where we can make the biggest differences in our own backyard. That is exactly why we decided to participate in the Dominion Foundation’s Solar for Schools Program.
“When we heard there was a project that involved installing solar for schools with the primary purpose of creating systems that are both education and functional, we knew that was something we wanted to be a part of,” said Jon Proffitt, Sigora’s Director of Community Programs.
Earlier in 2015, four Virginia schools were selected to participate in a new program funded by the Dominion Foundation and administered by the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project to provide small educational solar arrays. Sigora was fortunate enough to be selected as the turnkey system designer and installer for each school.
The four schools include the Shenandoah Governor’s School in Augusta County, Landstown High School in the City of Virginia Beach, Goochland High School in Goochland County, and T. Clay Wood Elementary School in Prince William County.
Every year, more than 4000 students will now be given the opportunity to learn and be inspired by real-world solar PV systems located on their campuses. Here at Sigora, we hope to share our passion for this amazing technology with as many individuals as possible and are thrilled for the opportunity to get these systems in front of the generations that will be shaping tomorrow’s energy landscape.
Art and Education
Each system will be comprised of an eye-opening 12ft. curved pole manufactured by Spotlight Solar and designed to mimic the natural shape of a flower. Each pole will be painted in school colors and carry six 250 Watt frameless Lumos solar panels.
Now, this isn’t your average side-of-the-interstate solar pole mount. This is a piece of art. By using this equipment, our hope is to not only engage the scientific side of each school but also the artists. Each system will be proof that technology and art can go hand-in-hand for the betterment of the world.
While looks are important, it’s often what’s under the hood that matters. This is why Sigora chose to include state-of-the art Enphase microinverters that not only provide industry leading direct current to alternating current conversion efficiency but also sophisticated monitoring to allow students and teachers to interact and learn from their PV systems. Each microinverter has the capability of providing real-time and historical panel-by-panel and whole-system power output in addition to panel-by-panel temperature, voltage, and current measurements. With this technology each school will have the opportunity to access real-world solar data from their systems and study the effects of natural variables on solar production.
So What Do These Systems Look Like?
Sigora Solar finished installation of the first system at the Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School in January and expect to finish the other three by mid-March.