American Public University System (APUS), an online higher-education provider focused on the military and public service communities, has christened the largest solar array in West Virginia. The 407-kilowatt system is comprised of 1,671 high-performance solar panels from SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years. The installation is mounted on a carport structure at APUS’ headquarters in Charles Town, W.V., deep in West Virginia’s panhandle.
Designed and constructed by SolarWorld Authorized Installer Mountain View Solar (MTVSolar) of Berkeley Springs, W.V., the installation at APUS is the solar contractor’s latest use of SolarWorld solar panels to blaze a solar trail in the Mountain State.
U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia joined APUS executives and local government officials in late April to celebrate completion of the project, which will supply about half of the energy requirements for APUS’ 100,000-square-foot Financial Center and power 15 charging stations for electrical and hybrid vehicles.
“Through this project, APUS sets a powerful example of institutional sustainability for its more than 100,000 students and for the community here in West Virginia,” said Mike McKechnie, president of MTVSolar. "This installation is an example of what education and renewable energy have in common – both are critical investments in our future.”
SolarWorld and MTVSolar have worked at the vanguard of solar development in West Virginia, a state known for coal mining, in projects that bring new sources of energy and jobs. Between 2010 and 2011, MTVSolar installed SolarWorld solar panels at the Morgan County Courthouse in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia’s first municipal solar project; at Berkeley Springs High School, the state’s first solar-equipped school; and at the wastewater treatment plant in Hurricane, the state’s largest solar-powered infrastructure project. MTVSolar also collaborated with Appalachian nonprofit The Jobs Project to install SolarWorld solar panels atop a downtown building while offering installation training in Williamson, known as the “heart of the billion dollar coalfield.”
“With a network of skilled, experienced authorized installers like MTVSolar on the ground in communities across the country, SolarWorld can ensure that our technology is deployed according to industry best practices in applications that provide a meaningful return on investment for the communities involved,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas.