Solar Loan Program Provides Hands-on Education to Students


Walking around East Campus, JMU students, staff, and faculty get a chance to see solar panels in use – producing energy to power campus buildings. Recently, The Center for Wind Energy rediscovered a cache of old solar panels that had been sitting unused for quite some time. "We really wanted to get them out of storage and into the sunlight, so we created the Solar Loan Program." explained Blaine Loos, Energy Project Analyst for the Center.

Through the program, the Center loans up to 10 panels to K-12 schools across the state for various projects of their choosing. The loans are for 3 years, but can be renewed for additional 3-year terms, given that the school is using them effectively.

Each school must go through an application process, develop and submit an installation plan. "So far, ten schools have applied and five were accepted," said Loos. Approved projects include using the panels for electric vehicle charging, powering a greenhouse, ventilating chicken coops, and ventilating a tree house on the school play ground.

The Center for Wind Energy seeks out schools that are interested in using the solar panels creatively. Schools are chosen based on project feasibility and student involvement.

If you are interested in learning more or applying to the Solar Loan Program, please contact Blaine Loos at

Published: Friday, February 13, 2015

Last Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2018

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