At this morning's assembly and during the ceremony that followed, a group of School administrators, along with a few Bullis Alumni members and federal and state legislators, dedicated the largest solar electric power system installed at an independent school in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Installed by Clean Currents Solar and owned and operated by Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc. (WGES), the system will provide electricity for The Blair Family Center for the Arts.
This 111 kW photovoltaic system consists of 540 solar panels that will produce 143,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, and supply nearly 20% of The Blair Center's annual electricity needs. In an innovative 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," says Head of School Tom Farquhar. "A commitment to renewable energy today points the way for our students and our community to build a more sustainable future."
The presentation ceremony in the lobby of The Blair Center was attended by Bullis School administrators, faculty and staff and several notable guests. Key attendees included the president of Clean Currents Solar, Lee Keshishian, as well as the project manager for the installation, Jason Topercer, both Bullis graduates of the Class of 1988. Harry Warren, president of WGES, also attended, along with Maryland State Senator Rob Garagiola and Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and his aide, Mike Parsons '04, another Bullis alumnus.
In addition to a strong 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 US EPA's Green Power Partnership for schools.
Watch a video on the solar power system dedication.
The dedication was covered by several local news outlets, including: Washington Business Journal, WTTG TV, and WAMU.