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Officials from Fairfax County Public Schools announced yesterday (Tuesday) that the county plans to expand the use of solar energy across 87 FCPS schools and facilities.

The new contracts, which are known as solar power purchase agreements (PPA), with service providers are the largest “solar PPA initiative by a local municipality in Virginia to date,” according to a press release from Fairfax County.

“Our move toward solar reinforces the School Board’s commitment to our environmental stewardship responsibilities,” said FCPS School Board Chair Karen Corbett Sanders in a statement.

The following area schools are being considered for solar modifications:

Vienna

McLean

Falls Church

Merrifield

Photo via Flickr / Minoru Karamatsu 

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The Town of Vienna is making a push to get locals to “solarize,” converting their homes and businesses to relying on solar energy.

On Tuesday, April 9, the town will host a meeting in partnership with Solarize NOVA, an outreach program founded in 2014 that vets contractors and establishes pre-negotiated contract terms to make the process easier for those looking to solarize.

The meeting’s goal is to help get those curious about solar energy learn more about the costs involved and next steps in the process.

There’s a handful of ways installing solar energy can help residents save money. Those who install solar panels are eligible for a federal tax credit. Fairfax County also offers a real estate tax exemption for five years for those who install solar panels.

In Virginia, residents can also meter excess energy generated by solar systems, receiving a credit on their electric bill at full retail rate for the energy produced by their panels.

This is the fifth year that Vienna has participated in the Solarize NOVA program, voting unanimously in January continue working with the initiative.

According to the program’s website, since 2014, Solarize NOVA has facilitated installation of 263 solar energy systems, saving 1,969 tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted and 1,954,180 pounds of coal from being burned.

The program also offers free site assessments for solar power and free inspections for energy use.

Photo via Facebook

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