Almost 4000 US Schools Are Running On Solar

Few places benefit more from solar than our public schools, where the energy savings can literally make the difference in being able to pay teacher salaries and buy textbooks.

The first study of solar at US schools finds installations at 3,752 K-12 schools, reaching nearly 2.7 million students. The schools are saving a combined $77.8 million a year on utility bills – an average of almost $21,000 a year per school.

Over the past 10 years, solar has grown from just 303 kilowatts to 490 megawatts (mostly in the last few years). Still, this is the tip of the "iceberg" of solar potential – there are 125,000 schools in the US, and 72,000 of them could also cost-effectively add solar, according to The Solar Foundation, the research arm of the Solar Energy Industries Association.  

This map shows all the schools with solar and the green/yellow dots show schools that would benefit depending on the price:

Solar Schools 2014

The more solar prices drop, the more schools can afford it. If all the schools signed on, they would add 5.4 gigawatts of solar

In a time of tight budgets and rising costs, energy is the biggest bill for schools after peoples’ salaries. Solar arrays at schools are also a great teaching tool on engineering, science and, of course, clean energy. 

As of September, K-Solar is being rolled out in NY State, a program that streamlines the process of adding solar for school districts. The goal is to guide schools through the entire process – from awareness to installation – in as little as six months, and 40 school districts (200 schools) have already signed on.   

Read, Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools:

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