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Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools

Released September 18, 2014

Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools is the first nationwide assessment of how solar energy helps to power schools in communities across America. Most importantly, the report shows that thousands of schools are already cutting their utility bills by choosing solar, using the savings to pay for teacher salaries and textbooks. What’s more, the report estimates that more than 70,000 additional schools would benefit by doing the same.  The report was published by The Solar Foundation with research assistance from the Solar Energy Industries Association.

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Key Findings:

  • An analysis performed for this report found that 450 individual school districts could each save more than $1,000,000 over 30 years by installing a solar PV system.
  • Of the 125,000 schools in the country, between 40,000 and 72,000 can “go solar” cost-effectively.
  • There are 3,752 K-12 schools in the United States with solar installations, meaning nearly 2.7 million students attend schools with solar energy systems.
  • The 3,727 PV systems at all U.S. schools with solar installations have a combined capacity of 490 megawatts (MW), and generate roughly 642,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity each year.
  • The electricity generated in one year by all 3,727 PV systems represents a combined $77.8 million per year in utility bills ‒ an average of almost $21,000 per year per school. This combined energy value is roughly equivalent to 155,000 tablet computers or nearly 2,200 new teachers’ salaries per year.[1]

Rankings (Click to view larger)

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Curious if your school has solar or might be a good candidate for solar? Find your school on our interactive map. Want your school to go solar? Email your administrator.

How does your state stand up?

Schools with Solar Energy Systems by State (click on the headings to sort)

 

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