Schools are increasingly relying on solar energy to save money and educate students about energy, according to a recent study sponsored by a collaboration of non-profit energy associations.
During the past three years, the amount of solar capacity in K-12 schools has doubled. More than 5,400 schools have solar installations, which can create about 1,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, one of the study’s sponsor. The Solar Foundation and Generation 180, a clean energy non-profit organization, also sponsored the study, “Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in US Schools.”
Leading the nation with 54 percent of school solar capacity, California schools have more than 489 megawatts installed. Other top five states include New Jersey, Arizona, Massachusetts, and New York. Nevada claims the highest percentage of schools with solar at 23.1 percent.
The study cites falling solar prices as the driving force behind the trend, and schools have financed solar adoption primarily though power purchasing agreements. The average price of a school solar PV installation has decreased by 67 percent, including a drop of 19 percent in 2016, according to the study.
For more than a decade, schools have looked to Good Energy for environmentally friendly energy solutions. Good Energy originated and manages the second-largest public-energy procurement cooperative in New Jersey, comprising primarily schools and boards of education. The cooperative works with nearly 100 entities throughout almost all of New Jersey’s 21 counties.
Find out more about how Good Energy can work with your school to develop an energy procurement plan.