Nearly 5,500 K-12 schools in the U.S. are harnessing the sun’s rays for energy, according to a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the Solar Foundation and clean energy nonprofit Generation 180. That means about five percent of all K-12s in the nation are solar powered.
The study, Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools, 2nd Edition, touts that this switch to renewableshas allowed schools to reduce their electricity bills, all while freeing up resources to invest in education. Roughly four million students attend such schools.
A total of 5,489 schools have a combined capacity of 910 megawatts, which is enough to power more than 190,000 homes, the study found.
Here are some notable state achievements from the Brighter Future report:
- California leads the nation with 1,946 solar schools and a 489-megawatt capacity.
- Nevada has the highest adoption rate, with 23 percent of schools using solar energy statewide.
- Arizona has the most solar school capacity on a per capita basis, at 86 watts per student.
As GreenTechMedia reported, cumulative PV capacity on K-12 school buildings has increased by 86 percent since 2008. The reason behind the surge is down to dipping installation prices and new financing options. The cost of installing solar in schools has decreased 66 percent in the past seven years.
“All of the reasons why people are going solar, […] really tie back to the affordability,” SEIA spokesman Dan Whitten told the website.
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