• System Specs | 477 kW
  • System Production | 665 MWh annually
  • Environmental Benefits | Equivalent to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from more than 55,085 gallons of gasoline per year

The Sandy Spring Friends School (SSFS) has made a remarkable commitment to environmental stewardship as guided by the school’s Quaker values. Headquartered in Sandy Spring, MD, SSFS was in need of a solution that could be integrated into their curriculum, save money and reflect their pledge to sustainability. In September 2012, SSFS partnered with Standard Solar, Inc. (SSI) and UGI HVAC Enterprises, Inc. (UGI) to install a 477 kW solar array on the school’s 140-acre campus. With an estimated system production of 665MWh, the estimated carbon offset is equivalent to taking 82 passenger vehicles off the road per year.

As a Friends school that emphasizes the Quaker values of service and stewardship of the environment, SSFS has long demonstrated its commitment to sustainability. From renewable energy education and curriculum planning to land use, recycling and composting programs, SSFS has always implemented the value of preserving the environment into their everyday operations. SSFS saw an opportunity with a solar installation to provide a dynamic learning experience for its students while stabilizing the school’s energy cost. To achieve this need without impacting capital budget, SSFS required partners who could assist with making their vision a reality. By selecting Standard Solar as their trusted solar energy partner to install the project, SSFS was able to successfully develop the solar installation on their beautiful campus.

By partnering with SSI for the project development and financing the system through UGI, SSFS success¬fully expanded their commitment to sustainability. SSI helped SSFS bring their goal of sustainability to a reality. The system is owned by UGI, with whom the school has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA). The PPA enables the school to use the electricity generated by the system for a fixed cost, lowering their utility bills. “The SSFS community is delighted to work with Standard Solar and UGI to install one of the largest solar projects in Montgomery County on our beautiful 140 acre campus,” said Tom Gibian, Head of School. “Solar power, in its simplicity and efficiency, and as a substitute to purchasing electricity generated from the burning conventional fossil fuels, will become part of our curriculum (science, technology and entrepreneurism), will save us money and reflects our intention to practice good stewardship of our natural resources.” SSFS will benefit from the nearly 2,000 panel system economically, educationally and environmentally.

By designing and developing the 477kW system, SSI has helped SSFS to gain access to clean, solar-based electricity at a fixed cost over the life of the system. “Solar installations are a great fit for educational institutions, providing significant economic and environmental benefits as well as offering educational opportunities for the students,” said Scott Wiater, president, Standard Solar. “This kind of project can influence future leaders while helping the Sandy Spring community and its students take another step forward in their environmental stewardship.” Through this partnership, SSFS’s longstanding commitment to sustainability will continue to shine particularly bright.

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