POTOMAC, Md., Dec 14, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- At a ceremony today attended by federal and state legislators, students and school administrators, Bullis School dedicated the largest solar electric power system at a private school in the DC area. Installed by Clean Currents Solar and owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES), the system will provide electricity for the school's Blair Family Center for the Arts.
The 111 kW photovoltaic system consists of 540 solar panels that will produce 143,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually and supply 18%-20% of the Blair Center's annual electricity needs. Under the innovative three-way partnership, WGES financed the initial cost of the solar power system, and Bullis will pay WGES for the power produced by the system for 20 years.
"We are proud to be pioneering the use of solar power on this scale among independent schools in the area," said Tom Farquhar, Head of School at Bullis. "By demonstrating a commitment to renewable energy today we point the way for our students and our community to build a more sustainable future."
The installation of the solar collection panels is one step in a multi-faceted plan to increase environmental stewardship at the school. Clean Currents Solar plans to assist in the implementation of an environmental science unit at the school that includes lessons on clean energy, and ways students can reduce their carbon footprint. The project also features a monitoring system that will allow visitors, students and teachers to study and measure the power output from the solar panels.
"We are thrilled to be working with Bullis," said Lee Keshishian, President of Clean Currents Solar. "Their commitment to the environment and position as a role model to families, students, and the community will encourage many other area businesses and residential communities to make the switch to clean solar power." Lee Keshishian along with Jason Topercer, a partner and the project manager for the installation, are both alumni of Bullis.
By hosting this PV system, Bullis is contributing to Maryland's statewide solar goal for 2010 and beyond. "The state has set a 2022 goal of having 2% of all energy consumed in the state produced by solar energy," said Harry Warren, President of WGES. "To illustrate the significance of Bullis School's project, it will account for 6% of the school's total annual electricity consumption, three times the state's 2022 solar goal of 2%."
In addition to its commitment to solar energy, Bullis recently contracted with Clean Currents to purchase 100% wind power for its campus electricity needs. As a result, the school is ranked #4 nationally in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership for schools.
"I'm thrilled to join the Bullis School, Clean Currents Solar and Washington Gas Energy Services for the launch of this exciting partnership," said Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). "This installation is one of the first of its kind, and the energy generated by these solar panels will contribute significantly to the school's electricity needs. It will also serve as an unparalleled teaching tool, teaching students about clean energy and ways they can reduce their carbon footprint."
About Bullis School
Bullis School is an independent, co-educational college preparatory day school offering 630 students in grades 3 through 12 an educational program of excellence in a community that values integrity, respect, diversity and service.
About Clean Currents Solar
Clean Currents Solar is an affiliate of Clean Currents, a Rockville, Maryland based company and the leading green power marketer in the DC metro area, having helped more than 4,400 residential, commercial and non-profit institutions switch to clean energy in the last three years. The company provides on-site solar installations, sells Renewable Energy Credits, and brokers green electricity deals.
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 260,000 customers in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. Headquartered in Herndon, VA, Washington Gas Energy Services is an affiliate of Washington Gas and a subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:WGL).
SOURCE: Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc.
Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc.
Alicia Moran, 410-991-7027
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