Schools across the country are rapidly switching to solar power to meet their energy needs, while reaping the benefits of significant cost savings, STEM learning, and climate resilience. new report From clean energy non-profit Generation180. Since early 2015, the amount of solar installed in US K-12 schools has tripled.
according to “A Brighter Future: Solar Research in K-12 SchoolsIn its fourth edition, more than 6 million students now attend more than 8,400 solar-powered schools nationwide. Solar energy growth in schools has reached one-tenth (9%) of all K-12 public and private schools in the United States. The report also found that nearly half (47%) of public schools with solar installations are eligible for Title 1 school-wide programs for low-income students.
Schools with budgets of all sizes are installing solar power through third-party partnerships. This removes the initial cost barrier and enables schools to save immediately on energy costs. According to the report, 87% of solar installed in US schools was funded through these third-party arrangements, with the rest purchased and owned directly by schools.
“The benefits of solar energy are now reaching a wide range of schools across the country, including those in resource-poor communities looking to maximize the energy cost savings and educational opportunities solar technology offers. Generation180 Principal Report Author and Director of the Solar For All Schools Program, Tish Tablan, said:
This report was produced at a time of unparalleled momentum and historic federal investment in clean energy. Most recently, inflation-cutting legislation was enacted, including his $369 billion towards renewable projects where demand for skilled clean energy workers is surging.
“We need an education sector to advance our transition to a clean energy economy. K-12 schools teach about renewable energy, engage in hands-on STEM research, and train students for solar careers. By training, we are becoming an incubator for the clean energy workforce of the future, said Wendy Philleo, Executive Director of Generation180.
Benefits of employee training and emergency response
This report shares success stories of K-12 schools using solar projects to provide students with hands-on STEM learning opportunities and job training for solar careers. For example, the Denver Public Schools Renewable Energy Academy is preparing high school students for jobs as solar installers. The job is expected to make him one of the fastest growing occupations in the country over the next decade.
The school also uses a combination of solar and battery storage to manage energy consumption from the grid and provide backup power to the building. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, solar and storage being installed at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School will soon enable the school to reduce electricity bills by reducing energy demand during peak hours. The district plans to be a resilient campus that is available to both students and local residents during power outages and climate emergencies.
The Brighter Future report also found that:
- The top five states for solar in schools capacity (California, New Jersey, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Illinois) have driven the growth of solar in schools nationwide.
- With 1,647 MW of installed solar capacity, US schools currently generate enough solar energy to power the electricity needs of 300,000 homes each year. That’s enough energy to power an entire household in a city the size of Washington, DC, Boston, or Denver.
- The report provides a comprehensive overview of solar adoption by U.S. K-12 schools, including national trends, state rankings, and success stories of schools reaping the benefits of solar. increase.
Notice from Generation180