The banner image used on this website is of the Cople Elementary Solar Project in Westmoreland County, VA; the photo was taken by Rene' Hypes. In March of 2020, the Cople Elementary Solar Project in Westmoreland County was designated as the first Pollinator-Smart Solar Site by the new program. The project achieved the highest Pollinator-Smart designation by including cover for the open area and panel zone of the facility in native pollinator species, using a diverse seed mix of over 20 native species, selecting pollinator species that bloom throughout the growing season, developing an approved vegetation management plan and providing habitat for native pollinators. Through the development of solar energy, the elementary school expects to save $3.6 million in energy costs over the lifespan of the project. In addition, the initiative project designed by Sun Tribe Solar in collaboration with the Westmoreland School System will provide educational and research opportunities for students, faculty and the Westmoreland community. For more information, please visit the Virginia Pollinator Smart Program webpage.