Dominion Energy begins Wind for Students program in eastern Virginia

Published 6:17 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2022

With a new offshore wind industry taking shape in Virginia, the Dominion Energy Wind for Students program has been launched in partnership with the National Energy Education Development Project, an energy education non-profit organization.

Public schools in Suffolk will among those eligible to apply for the program.

The Wind for Students program builds on the Dominion Energy Solar for Students program, first established in 2015 in partnership with NEED.

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Through a grant to NEED from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, two schools or educational institutions will be chosen to receive a micro wind turbine as well as solar panels and energy storage batteries.

Dominion has cited offshore wind as a key component to Virginia’s clean-energy future. When it goes online in 2026, the 180 wind turbines will generate enough clean, reliable energy to power up to 660,000 Dominion Energy homes in Virginia.

Besides SPS, K-12 public schools and educational non-profit institutions that are served by Dominion Energy Virginia and offer science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, programming in the following localities are eligible to apply for the Wind for Students program: Virginia Beach, Hampton, Norfolk, Newport News, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Poquoson and Williamsburg as well as the counties of Isle of Wight, Gloucester, York, James City and Surry.

“We are excited to launch this new Wind for Students program in eastern Virginia, where Dominion Energy is leading the way for offshore wind development with Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind, the largest offshore wind farm currently planned for the United States,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation in a statement. “This program will allow students and the public the opportunity to learn more about harnessing the power of the wind.”

The two winning educational institutions will receive an ARIS Remote Power Unit – a 30-foot-tall micro wind turbine, solar panels and two 12-volt energy storage batteries. There will also be an online data display to show the installation’s output.

Applications for the Dominion Energy Wind for Students program will be accepted through March 20 and the winning schools or institutions will be selected in late April, as the applicant’s site must be evaluated for technical feasibility, including space for the installation, access to wind resources, soil type, safety and security.

Through the NEED website, educators also have access to new offshore wind curriculum that is aligned with Virginia Standards of Learning and hands-on kits that will teach students how wind energy works and how energy, the environment and economics are all part of the energy decision-making process.

“Our team at the NEED Project is honored to support the new Wind for Students program funded by a grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation,” said Mary Spruill, NEED Project executive director, in a statement. “The Wind for Students program builds on Dominion Energy’s history of investing in Virginia’s future – today’s students.”

For more information or to apply for the program, go to: https://www.dominionenergy.com/our-company/customers-and-community/charitable-foundation/wind-for-students-program.