The Return to School Marks a Renewed Era of Savings for Schools with Solar Power


As students and teachers return to classrooms this month, numerous school districts across the United States are turning to solar and storage technologies for uninterrupted power and cost-effective energy solutions.


According to Generation180, solar installations at K-12 schools in the United States have tripled since 2015, with over 6 million students now attending solar-powered schools. 


School buildings and public infrastructure are ideal candidates for solar energy. They offer expansive rooftops, consistent energy demands, and tight budgets. Solar power provides reliable, low-cost energy, benefiting school budgets, community resilience, and students’ education.


Here are a few examples of how solar is supporting American schools:

  • A school district in Batesville, Arkansas, made headlines by increasing teacher salaries by up to 30% thanks to savings from its solar array. Inspired by Batesville’s success, thirty other school districts in Arkansas have adopted solar. Similar stories are emerging nationwide.
  • Highland Schools in Illinois anticipates saving over $2 million through its solar investment, while Sheridan Community Schools in Indiana redirects $1.3 million annually to teacher salaries thanks to its solar project. These savings also enable schools to undertake crucial infrastructure upgrades.
  • Eatontown, New Jersey, is replacing its heating and ventilation systems without cost to taxpayers, courtesy of solar installation savings.
  • Solar-powered schools are also seizing opportunities to enrich students’ education. Many schools now incorporate solar panel installation and maintenance into their STEM curriculum, preparing students for careers in clean energy.
  • Louisa County High School in Virginia offers a course where students learn about solar panels and then install them on school grounds. This initiative has resulted in substantial energy savings for the school and valuable hands-on experience for students interested in clean energy careers.
  • In Idaho, the Solar 4R Schools program installs solar panels on school property and provides tailored classroom kits for participating districts. This enables students of all ages to learn about solar energy production and engage with the clean energy industry, enhancing their readiness for well-paying jobs in the growing clean energy economy.
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The U.S. Department of Energy identifies energy costs, second only to staff salaries, as the most significant expense for school districts. Solar installations can yield substantial savings, often requiring minimal upfront expenses.

As the solar industry continues to expand, these educational opportunities will equip students for success in a clean energy-focused workforce. With communities, companies, and consumers nationwide embracing the advantages of solar energy, it’s only fitting that teachers and students benefit as well. Abundant, affordable, domestically sourced solar energy is empowering schools to invest more in their students and enabling students to extract greater benefits from their educational experiences.

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