SFF Success Story: High Rocks Educational Corporation


  • FUNDING: In September 2022, the Appalachian Solar Finance Fund awarded High Rocks Educational Corporation a $14,630 grant as part of High Rocks’ $56,275 total investment in a solar installation.
  • PLACEMENT: Construction on a 19-kilowatt solar array was completed in April 2023 on High Rocks’ campus by local installer Solar Holler.
  • ENERGY SAVINGS: Its solar installation will offset 93% of High Rocks’ net energy use!
  • COST SAVINGS: High Rocks is projected to save over $53,000 in electricity costs in the system’s lifetime.
  • IMPACT: The new solar installation has created opportunities for High Rocks students to learn about the importance of solar and energy conservation in their communities.

Solar energy paves the way for a promising tomorrow thanks to High Rocks Educational Corporation’s recent solar installation in Hillsboro, West Virginia. High Rocks is a nonprofit educational institution serving students from ages 12 to 29 in Appalachia. A $14,630 grant from CAN’s Appalachian Solar Finance Fund jump-started High Rocks’ solar array project, with savings upward of $53,000 in electricity costs in the system’s lifespan!

Running award-winning programs for young people in West Virginia focused on empowerment, critical thinking, and leadership, the High Rocks team provides transformational education designed to uplift those in low-income households and families with first-generation college students. By going solar, High Rocks continue to work to encourage people to protect the planet for years to come.

Construction of High Rocks’ solar array began in February 2023 by local installer Solar Holler, which has successfully completed over a thousand solar installations across Appalachia. By April 2023, the 19-kilowatt ground-mounted solar array was completed, kicking off High Rocks’ journey of saving money and energy for decades to come. The organization will offset 93% of its electricity use thanks to solar power.

Making the switch to solar creates learning opportunities for High Rocks students. “Having a solar array is more about our mission and values than saving money. It will give us a wonderful, hands-on teaching tool for our science classes and agriculture programs to learn about solar energy, just like we learn about watersheds and research on sustainable agricultural methods,” says Sarah Riley, High Rocks’ Executive Director.

Thanks to a contribution from the Appalachian Solar Finance Fund, High Rocks was granted the chance to help preserve its environment and spread the good word about solar energy in its community. “The Appalachian Solar Finance Fund gave us a grant [that] jump-started implementation. Without the tax credit incentives and programs like the Appalachian Solar Finance Fund, I don’t think we would have ever been able to afford to go solar.”

The Appalachian Solar Finance Fund is a program dedicated to spurring new solar development in coal-impacted counties of Central Appalachia. If you are interested in bringing solar power to your community, learn more about the fund and apply online for grants and technical assistance at https://solarfinancefund.org/