Bath County school becomes first 100% solar powered school in Virginia
BATH Co., Va. (WSET) -- Bath County is now home to the first school in Virginia that's 100 percent solar powered.
Valley Elementary in Bath County has solar panels covering all of its roof, giving it more energy that it needs during the school day, and this is great for the plant, but it's also going to help, both financially and with jobs.
Going green will help taxpayers save $15,000 every year on energy costs.
"There's several benefits. The fiscal, economic issues are one, but it's going to provide a great learning opportunity for our students," said Sue Hirsh, Superintendent of Bath County Schools.
Governor Terry McAuliffe says that will be great for Virginia.
"I have thousands and thousands of jobs open today in Virginia in the renewable energy space. So if we can start our children at a young age from kindergarten to 12th thinking about renewable energy, getting them excited about it, because we have plenty of jobs," he said.
Something David Wall of Affordable Energy Concepts knows first hand.
"Right now, trying to hire somebody for solar, you're basically training them," he said. "We're excited to see students coming out of high school and community college settings will have the skills we need to hire them so they can go right to work and make a decent livable wage."
That's the case for Alex Hayne who grew up in Bath County and now is a project manager for the solar installation.
"It's kind of exciting to come back and climb on the roof up there and know, well which roof is this, well this is the auditorium. I know because I've been inside, thinks like that. It is a special thing," he said.
Crews are still installing the last of the solar panels, but it should be done within the next week weeks.
Once it is, 56 percent of the entire school district will be powered by the sun, and even cloudy days won't impact that.