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Title: A Solar Market Pathway for Independent Colleges in Virginia
Funding Opportunity: Solar Market Pathways
SunShot Subprogram: Soft Costs
Location: Bedford, VA
Amount Awarded: $807,563
Awardee Cost Share: $409,357
The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) is leading a Solar Market Pathways program to boost Virginia’s solar market by partnering with 15 of its member colleges and their hometown communities. The project team is developing a collaborative and replicable approach that will guide campuses through the process of preparing for and purchasing a solar photovoltaic installation—reducing operating costs and demonstrating associated economic and environmental benefits. For more information on this award and the Solar Market Pathways program, visit their website.
Each participating college has created a coordinating council that will work closely with the CICV team to use this information to develop and implement a multi-year Solar Master Plan. CICV is partnering with Optony to conduct feasibility and site assessments at each of the 15 participating colleges to determine specific opportunities and challenges for deploying 30MW of solar across participating colleges. The feasibility reports, which will include site assessments, historical energy consumption, available incentives, interconnection points, and other energy data, will be integrated into the Solar Master Plan and will provide the basis for installing solar at participating colleges.
The successful implementation of the multi-year solar deployment plan depends not only on an appropriate plan, but on the increased knowledge and capacity of faculty and facility management staff at participating colleges. CICV will arrange professional development workshops for faculty and staff to expand their understanding of solar markets, financing, and engagement practices. The project also aims to engage and educate students, with some colleges awarding credits to those students involved in bringing the proposed projects to fruition.