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

This report, prepared by The Solar Foundation (TSF), is the first-ever assessment of K-12 solar schools throughout the United States. It shows how these schools are reducing their utility bills by installing solar energy and how 70,000 more schools that haven’t yet taken that step can benefit.

“Solar enables schools to save money, enrich learning and keep teachers in the classroom – all while providing local jobs and generating emissions-free electricity,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. “With five times as many solar schools today than in 2008, it is clear that the solar schools movement is gaining momentum and providing kids with the greatest benefits,” Luecke added.

Key findings include:

• 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 3,752 PV systems have a combined capacity of 490 megawatts (MW), and generate roughly 642,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity each year, which represents a combined $77.8 million per year in utility bills – an average of almost $21,000 per year per school.
• Despite this promising progress, solar potential remains largely untapped. Of the 125,000 schools in the country, between 40,000 and 72,000 can “go solar” cost-effectively.

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