Shenandoah University now boasts the largest rooftop solar power system of any Virginia college or university.
Through a partnership with the solar power company Secure Futures, of Staunton, Virginia, a total of 1,337 solar panels are spread across three buildings:
- Alson H. Smith, Jr. Library | 126 panels at 2,580 square feet
- Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre | 229 panels at 4,689 square feet
- James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center | 982 panels at 20,106 square feet
We are proud to highlight Shenandoah University’s belief in and dedication to environmental stewardship. With this installation, Shenandoah demonstrates not only the power of solar energy, but also the power of people working together to create a better tomorrow.”
President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.
Shenandoah’s solar panels have the capacity to produce around 500 kilowatts of electricity. Annual output of electricity will be approximately 675,000 kilowatt hours.
Each year, the solar power generated at Shenandoah will be equivalent to the amount of carbon in 258 tons of coal burned, the electricity use of 82 homes, and the consumption of more than 53,000 gallons of gasoline.
Through the use of this solar project, the university is projected to save a total of $3.1 million in avoided costs for electricity from producing its own solar power over the 35-year lifespan of the equipment. Net savings to the university on electricity (after all costs are taken out) are projected to total more than $1.5 million over the same period.
The project is funded through Virginia’s first solar crowdfunding campaign funded in part through Secure Futures.
On-campus solar energy at Shenandoah University is being funded in part through Virginia’s first solar crowdfunding campaign. Through this innovative program, members of the community are able to invest in the development of solar projects at five different non-profit institutions around Virginia, starting with Shenandoah University.”
Tony Smith, CEO of Secure Futures
Over the years, Shenandoah University has established several sustainability initiatives, including creating a toner cartridge recycling program; using low-flow plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, Energy Star appliances, high-efficiency HVAC equipment and building materials with recycled content; planting trees and protecting natural areas; implementing natural light in buildings; and reducing water and energy usage as well as food waste through trayless dining.
Other projects include a student group repurposing unused food from Allen Dining Hall to give back to the Winchester community, and a composting project that collected just over 155 pounds of compost from the Village apartments for the fall 2018 semester.
For the third year in a row, the university has also celebrated its name on “The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges.”
About Secure Futures, LLC
As a market and policy leader, Secure Futures builds, owns, manages and funds affordable resilient solar solutions for schools, colleges, hospitals and businesses. Headquartered in Staunton, Virginia, the company combines state-of–the-art solar technology with an innovative business model to make commercial-scale solar power readily affordable in Virginia, helping customers to realize the economic, environmental and community benefits of solar energy. In 2017, Secure Futures became a Certified B Corporation, having met the exacting standards for social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability established by the nonprofit B Lab. For more information, visit www.securefutures.solar.