Western Branch Cuts Ribbon on State’s Largest Rooftop Solar Panel System

Western Branch High School, along with Dominion Power, cut the ribbon on a brand-new rooftop solar energy system on Wednesday.

The system consists of 3,000 solar panels. According to Dominion, it is the largest single rooftop solar energy system in Virginia.

“Just from the roof, we’ll have enough electricity at peak to output power for 200 homes,” says President of Dominion Power Bob Blue.

Western Branch students and teachers, state officials and community leaders were on-hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Photos: Western Branch’s solar panel system

The school isn’t exactly going solar or off the grid at all. The energy generated by the panels will be incorporated into Dominion’s power grid.

“We are leasing the space for the roof because this is a power plant. It’s a solar power plant that we are putting on top of this high school,” says Blue.

Dominion says this project is an important step in diversifying their energy supply. The school sees it as a win, because students will now have expanded education in renewable energy.

“Western Branch was chosen because we had a new big addition here, and it’s in the right spot to get the sunshine,” says Chesapeake Public Schools Superintendent Jim Roberts.

Dominion says they also plan to provide the school with a real-time kiosk, and educational materials to promote hands-on learning about solar power.

Dominion installed the system, and is paying for all maintenance costs.

WAVY/Chris Omahen
WAVY/Chris Omahen