Could Solar Panel Installations on US Schools Become the Norm?

#Schools all over the US are turning to #solar to lower utility costs, save the planet and educate students. Could solar installations soon become the norm? Maybe.


are increasing across the globe. If you drive by the Walt Disney World Resort on your next Florida vacation, you’ll see a huge field of near the theme parks – and if you happen to be lucky enough to see them from above, you’ll notice they are in the shape of Mickey ears. If you take a walk around your neighborhood, you might see panels on top of several homes. Solar panels are no longer a futuristic concept. Individuals and businesses alike are taking advantage of the benefits of turning to solar power. This notion extends to , and in accordance with a report made by the Solar Foundation, close to 5,500 K-12 schools in America currently have solar power installations.

Takes the Lead

Enough electricity is being produced every year to power 190,000 homes because the capacity of all school installations is more than 900 megawatts. California has just under 1,950 schools using solar power – to be more precise, you are looking at 1,946 schools using solar, as well as 489 megawatts of capacity.

Solar Costs Are Dropping

While solar panel popularity is increasing, the cost to go solar is dropping. The price for solar power installations in schools has gone down roughly 60 percent over the last few years. Because solar power has become more affordable, more people are taking advantage of it, and thereby saving money in return. Schools using solar power are saving when it comes to their utility costs – and in case of the power going out, they have a backup option. They will still have a source of power. This is a win-win situation!

In other states, school districts rather than just individual schools are going solar. Washoe County School District is in Reno, Nevada, and the school is heading in the direction of 20 percent renewable over the course of the next two years.

But back to California – Kern High School District (located in Bakersfield, CA) – has solar parking canopies across 27 district sites. What exactly does this mean? Well, the school district is anticipated to save $80 million over the course of the next two and a half decades. That means huge cost savings!

Going solar could save millions of dollars – and this money could be used to make a big difference when it comes to teachers, students and learning. Think about how many schools across America are strapped for cash. Think about how many students are unable to afford lunch every day. Cost savings are welcomed.

In addition to saving money, using solar on roofs in school districts allows students to be able to see firsthand how solar energy works. Rather than just reading about how solar power works or hearing about it, they can have something tangible.

While the number of schools with solar panels is increasing across America, the total percentage of schools in the United States with solar power is still a small 5 percent. That’s 5,000 schools using solar power. So many schools have empty roof space, and this is perfect for solar panel installations. No additional land or space is needed to benefit from this source of clean energy.

When , We All Benefit

According to SEIA’s president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper, “There’s a reason solar is spreading so quickly across America’s school districts, and it is pretty simple.”

She states that when schools go solar, the entire community benefits.

And she’s correct. Solar systems in public schools save money on utility bills; solar systems in public schools reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as contaminants; solar systems led to job creation; and solar systems in public schools offer amazing learning opportunities. Schools are always trying to save money and cut costs, and going solar is just one way of doing so.

Having students see firsthand how solar energy works is wonderful and it is important because these are the individuals who will lead our future. Fossil fuels are becoming outdated. Today’s students need to be creative, mindful and adaptable. Solar is the direction the world seems to be going in and people are continuing to adapt. Stay on top of the latest developments in solar news so you don’t miss out on important changes – what are your thoughts on school systems using solar? Could your school district benefit from using renewable energy?




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