Anew solar-powered system has been installed onto the roof of the main office building at the Jump Park in Forest with the hope that it will eventually offset all of the power bills for the Forest Youth Athletic Association.
The panels and labor were donated by Earth Right Mid-Atlantic: Powered by Convert Solar, a Lynchburg-based energy-efficiency and solar-power company.
Shane Durie, a solar power consultant for the company, said the building is perfect for solar panels since it has a long, unobstructed roof that mostly faces south and has no trees casting shade on it.
“The whole point of solar power and energy efficiency is to help people lower their power bills or to give them an alternative to just sending a check to the power company every month for the rest of their life,” he said.
The company was looking for an opportunity to do something good for the community and especially for kids.
“If we can reduce how much money they have to spend on power bills every single month, then they can use that money to do bigger and better things for kids and for the fields,” Durie said.
Shannon Ellis, executive director for the Forest Youth Athletic Association, said a common misconception the community has is that the nonprofit association is funded by Bedford County Parks and Recreation.
She said the two have a partnership, the association plays under their umbrella and uses their fields, but the association has a considerable amount of overhead it pays each month for mortgage on the land and utilities, which equals about $14,000 per month.