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Children celebrate SolarWorld ‘Solar2Schools’ project at Arlington, Va., elementary school

Program promotes solar education and supplies clean power at schools nationwide

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 7, 2011 – Students at Glebe Elementary School in Arlington, Va., today activated a solar awning system comprised of high-performance solar panels from SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer, that will enable them to learn about renewable energy while providing enough electricity to power a classroom.

The Solar2Schools program promotes solar energy education by providing sharply discounted, highly visible solar installations to schools across the country. The package includes a SolarWorld Suntrol® monitoring system in the school’s lobby, providing a real-time data report of the system’s energy production.

Online monitoring of energy output from Glebe’s 1.1-kilowatt system adds educational value to the installation, said Cathy Lin, energy manager for the Arlington Public Schools, who championed the effort to install the system at Glebe Elementary School. “The kids and their families will be able to see how much energy the panels are generating at any moment, on any web-enabled device, including their cell phones,” Lin said.

The installation was engineered and constructed by SolarWorld partner installer Astrum Solar of Annapolis Junction, Md. Among the installation options that Astrum engineers offered, Principal Jamie Borg selected the awning design in light of its high visibility for students, she said.

“Solar systems make great teaching tools,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas. “Kids see how solar works -- that it’s clean, quiet and abundantly renewable.”

Vadim Polikov, president and CEO of Astrum, said the system stands as a model for the future. “Solar2Schools is a rare opportunity to combine classroom instruction with real-world demonstrations to teach young students how solar power is reshaping our energy future,” Polikov said. “We’re thrilled to take part in an initiative that educates children about an issue that will have such a profound impact on them throughout their lives.”

Today, Arlington Schools Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy, local elected officials, school board members, students and families gathered to make music and hear remarks commemorating the event. “As a district, we are working to meet the current needs of students and staff while preserving resources for future generations,” Murphy said.

Glebe’s PTA and SmartPower, an energy-efficiency nonprofit, donated to the project; SolarWorld and Astrum provided, respectively, solar panels and installation work at sharp discounts. The Foundation for Environmental Education and National Energy Education Development Project will work with Glebe teachers on curriculum. FEE is a nonprofit that enables solar school installations; NEED develops and delivers curriculum.

For question about the Solar2Schools program, email solar2schools@solarworldusa.com.

About Astrum Solar www.astrumsolar.com

Astrum Solar, a full-service residential solar provider, is among the industry’s market leaders with operations in a dozen states across the eastern United States. The company provides a premier customer experience by offering flexible purchase and leasing options and by facilitating every aspect of a customer’s seamless transition to solar electricity. The “Leasing Powered by Constellation Energy” program, now available in six states, allows for wider adoption of solar energy with little up-front costs. The company is headquartered in Annapolis Junction, Md. For more information or to use the company’s online Solar Calculator, visit www.astrumsolar.com.

About Arlington Public Schools and Glebe Elementary http://www.apsva.us/

Arlington Public Schools is a diverse and inclusive school community, committed to academic excellence and integrity. The district provides instruction in a caring, safe and healthy learning environment, responsive to the whole child, in collaboration with families and the community. Arlington Public Schools instills a love of learning in its students and prepares them to be responsible and productive global citizens. Glebe Elementary School (www.apsva.us/glebe) is one of 23 elementary schools in Arlington Public Schools, serving over 500 children in Pre-K through Grade 5. Students are engaged in hands-on activities in all curricular areas. From the moment students enter Glebe’s doors, they become directly involved in learning.

SolarWorld Real Value

SolarWorld manufactures and sells solar power solutions and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. As the largest solar producer in the United States and Europe, SolarWorld employs about 3,200 people and carries out production in Hillsboro, Ore., and Freiberg and Arnstadt, Germany. From the raw material silicon to solar wafers, cells and panels, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe and is committed to resource- and energy-efficient production. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, SolarWorld was founded in 1998 and has been publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. For more information, visit www.solarworld-usa.com.

Media Contact

Devon Cichoski
Media relations manager
SolarWorld Industries America
4650 Adohr Lane
Camarillo, CA 93012
Mobile: 805-377-2905
Office: 805-388-6388
devon.cichoski(at)solarworld-usa.com