Education and Savings – How Solar Energy Transforms America’s Schools

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Think about it – K-12 schools are the perfect place to install solar power systems. They generally have large, unobstructed, flat roofs. They need tons of electricity during the school year, and solar panels are a great means for introducing future generations to concepts like sustainability, energy management, physics, and environmental consciousness.

See Also: President Obama Calls for More Solar Energy in His Climate Action Plan

When I was in grade school, I was fortunate enough to live a few blocks away from my elementary, middle, and high school – all lined up in a neat little row. Considering the high school alone had to house some 4,000 students, this presents a tremendous opportunity to instill knowledge and make use of favorable roof geometry.

In fact, The Solar Foundation published a report last year identifying the same opportunity for schools across the nation. According to their findings, of the more than 125,000 schools in America, 3,727 currently have some sort of solar power system, and an additional 40,000 – 72,000 could go solar cost effectively.

That’s nearly 490 megawatts of combined generation already in place atop America’s schools and nearly 2.7 million children who have a renewable, opportunity for education at their fingertips. If you tally up the equivalent solar energy produced by these 3,727 schools, it comes out to about $77.8 million per year in utility bills – a savings of roughly $21,000 per school. 

So enough with the boring field trip to the 18th-century village already – let’s teach our kids about the future instead of dwelling on the past. After all, they’re going to be the generation that will in all likelihood see 100% clean energy around the globe. I’m still holding out hope to see it in my lifetime, but we definitely need to step up our game if I’m to cross that off my bucket list.

Here’s your homework for the day: next time you’re at a PTA meeting or waiting with the other parents at your kid’s football practice, talk about solar energy. You don’t have to be obtrusive or anything, just come out with “Gee, wouldn’t such and such school really benefit from solar panels? They have a perfect roof for it after all.”

Read More: 5 Factors that Affects Solar Panel Efficiency

Trust me – that’s the most powerful thing you can do to speed up the solar revolution. If you’re really active in your child’s school or if you’re a teacher bring it up to the principal, superintendent, or facilities manager next time you talk to them.

Don’t forget to download your free copy of our Commercial Guide to Solar Energy too as there is a wealth knowledge you can use to transform our nation’s schools into clean energy powerhouses.