HARRISONBURG, Va. – Eastern Mennonite University will soon feature another
shade of green on its campus: the site of Virginia’s first
commercial-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) installation in the Commonwealth
of Virginia.

The new installation is part of a proposed revision to the campus master
plan to allow for approximately 600 kilowatts of solar energy panels to be
installed on the campus.  The installation is expected to generate about
12 percent of EMU’s total electricity use and save the University an
estimated $2 million in avoided electricity costs over the 25-year
Under an innovative financing program that has been used extensively by
universities in high solar states like California and Colorado, EMU will
effectively “host” the installation, paying only for the electricity
generated by the panels installed on the campus through a 25-year power
purchase agreement with Secure Futures, LLC, a private solar development
company based in Staunton, Va.

“This will represent a signature project for EMU, as it embodies the
stewardship values of our institution as well as building on our record as
a leading green university,” said EMU President Loren Swartzendruber.

“The signature components of this project include using state-of-the-art
solar technology, and, through Secure Futures’ unique financing model,
supporting a three-tiered sustainability program including campus,
curriculum and community sustainability,” said Ron Piper, vice president
for finance at EMU.

Staunton-based Secure Futures, LLC, obtained a grant commitment of
$225,000 from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME)
for the project. Tony Smith, CEO of Secure Futures, said “this project
will represent a milestone for renewable energy in Virginia insofar as
scale and impact. We’re excited to see a first example of a solar project
achieving electricity rates comparable to those offered on the electric
grid, especially since Virginia has among the lowest electricity rates in
the country.”

Ken Jurman, renewable energy manager for the Virginia Department of Mines,
Minerals and Energy (DMME), noted that “The EMU solar project as described
fits well within the scope and intent of Virginia energy policy to
encourage renewable energy resources. I’m very pleased that this
initiative is moving ahead – it’s exactly the kind of thing we want to
encourage across the Commonwealth to move toward a sustainable energy
About Secure Futures, LLC: Secure Futures designs, develops, finances and
maintains turnkey distributed solar solutions in collaboration with
tax-exempt entities to reduce their electricity costs and to create
environmental and economic benefits for customers and their communities.
Secure Futures is a solar development company based in Staunton, Va., and
is a member of the MD-DC-VA Solar Energy Industries Association
(MDV-SEIA).  For more information see www.securefutures.us.

About EMU’s commitment to sustainability: EMU was one of the three
national leaders in efficient energy use out of 90 colleges and
universities surveyed by the Association of Higher Education Facilities
Officers in 2007.  EMU sponsors numerous campus green initiatives ,
including an institutional commitment to sustainability.  For more
information, see http://www.emu.edu/begreen.

For more information, contact:
Tony Smith, CEO
Secure Futures, LLC
Cell: 540-255-1404
Email: tony@securefutures.us
Jim Bishop
Public Information Officer
Eastern Mennonite University
Harrisonburg VA   22802
Phone: 540-432-4211
Cell: 540-435-5340
Fax: 540-432-4212