May 9, 2011 at 9:45 AM EDT

Wilmington Friends School to use new campus solar power system for student education

Project will be owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. and installed by Standard Solar

WILMINGTON, Del.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Wilmington Friends School, one of the oldest private schools in the country, today announced that it will install more than 700 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the rooftops of two campus buildings this summer, resulting in one of the largest of solar PV systems on a K-12 school in Delaware and providing a unique learning opportunity for the school's students.

Installed by Standard Solar, Inc. and owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES), the system will provide electricity for both the lower school building (319 panels) and the upper school building (407 panels). Upper School students will be able to monitor the real-time output from the solar PV panels through a display to be installed in the school, and data from and about the system will be incorporated into the science curriculum.

The 200 kW solar PV system will produce approximately 246,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, the equivalent of eliminating 170 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year — the same as burning 19,000 fewer gallons of gasoline or planting more than 4,000 tree seedlings that grow for 10 years. Installed at no up-front cost to the school, Wilmington Friends will purchase the electricity generated by the system from WGES under a long term power purchase agreement.

"This project reflects mutually reinforcing aspects of our mission—the centuries-old Quaker commitment to stewardship and the commitment to 21st century excellence in global education," said Bryan Garman, Head of School at Wilmington Friends. "The solar PV system will help us to teach and inspire students as they grow as leaders committed to a more sustainable future."

The Quaker testimony of "stewardship" is a consistent theme at Friends School, and received particular attention this year beginning with a visit from Nobel Laureate Eric Chivian, Founder and Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. The many classroom activities focused on sustainability included: research in lower school science about the effects of contaminated water and soil on a park; a middle school project to design and build indoor composting systems; and a green roof design project as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) interdisciplinary science unit in upper school.

"WGES' efforts to help customers find environmentally attractive solutions for their energy needs are bolstered by state programs and policies that encourage, and in fact rely on, the competitive market to invest in these clean energy technologies," said Harry Warren, president, WGES. "The Wilmington Friends School project will bring our rapidly growing portfolio of owned, operated and committed solar power projects here in Delaware to 1.8 megawatts."

"The popularity of solar installations at educational institutions is growing rapidly due to the tremendous economic, environmental and educational opportunities," said Scott Wiater, president, Standard Solar. "We are excited to be a part of this project and doing our part to help Wilmington Friends and its students take another step forward in their environmental stewardship."

About Wilmington Friends

Founded in 1748, Wilmington Friends is a Quaker, co-ed school, serving students in the Early Learning Center (ages two and three) through grade 12. Signature international programs include the International Baccalaureate (first authorized IB school in Delaware) and School Year Abroad (first member school in Delaware); and starting in 2011-12, a Mandarin Language Program in middle and upper school. Friends offers a "global" approach to education at all grade levels, in content and in teaching students to engage complex issues intellectually and in action, in and outside of the classroom, with a sense of confidence and responsibility. For more information, visit

About Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc.

Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. is one of the largest competitive providers of electricity and natural gas in the mid-Atlantic region, and supplies over 335,000 customers in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Herndon, VA, Washington Gas Energy Services is an affiliate of Washington Gas and a subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:WGL). For more information, please visit, or contact Leah Gibbons at 703-793-7565, or

About Standard Solar

Standard Solar, Inc. is a leader in the full-service development, construction, integration, financing and installation of solar electric systems. Since 2004, Standard Solar has been the partner of choice to make solar energy financially accessible, helping customers through financing options, including Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and navigating expanded federal and state and local tax credits. Ranked the 73rd Fastest Growing Private Company in America in 2010 by Inc. magazine, and the highest-ranking renewable energy company on the list, Standard Solar is headquartered in Rockville, Md. For more information, please visit, or contact Keira Shein at WilkinsonShein Communications at 410-363-9494, or

Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc.
Leah Gibbons, 703-793-7565
for Standard Solar, Inc.
WilkinsonShein Communications
Keira Shein, 410-363-9494

Source: Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc.

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