Recently two school districts in Ohio and Indiana made headlines for being part of a growing contingency of school districts adopting solar energy.
In ‘Schools Turning to Sun for Their Power’, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports that rapidly declining installation costs are driving increased interest among K-12 schools nationwide, with the number of solar schools up 46 percent since 2014.
Despite this growth, the Journal Gazette article also examines a recent ‘Solar in U.S. Schools’ report that found that solar schools represent only 4.4 percent of schools nationwide. The main article takeaway is even though schools that have gone solar are seeing a financial and educational return on their investment, there is much room for solar growth and renewable energy adoption from school districts across the country.
Some schools are unable to pursue solar energy solutions due to financing, a roof being at the wrong angle or having too much shade. This is why Clean Energy Collective (CEC) works with many schools facing these limitations to help make solar a reality. For example, in 2017, Pueblo County School District 70 (Pueblo D70) became the first school district in Colorado to offset 100% of its electricity needs with solar energy generated from one of CEC’s offsite community solar array. Pueblo D70 will be sourcing 1.1 megawatts, or 11,456 solar panels from two Clean Energy Collective solar arrays located in Pueblo.
Pictured: A CEC community solar array.
D70’s Chief Financial Officer, T.J. Vinci said their decision to go solar will help the district save money on its electricity costs while hopefully setting an example for district students and public school districts throughout Colorado and the nation as to the feasibility of choosing renewable energy.
D70 Pueblo will save more than $2,025,139 over the duration of its solar program while avoiding
more than 78 million lbs. of CO2 output. To learn more about D70’s journey to solar, read our case study here. If you’re a school district considering community solar, please visit our get started page to learn if CEC solutions are available in your area!