In a first-of-its-kind report tracking the use of solar energy at K-12 schools in the United States, The Solar Foundation has developed the most comprehensive understanding to date of how schools are using and financing solar energy and the potential for still more schools to benefit from the technology. According to the report, there are currently 3,752 K-12 schools with solar installations, meaning nearly 2.7 million students attend schools with solar energy systems. These PV systems have a combined capacity of 490 megawatts (MW), and generate roughly 642,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity each year, equivalent to $77.8 million worth of utility bills and enough clean, renewable energy to offset 50 million gallons of gasoline. Solar potential on schools remains largely untapped. Of the 125,000 K-12 schools in the country, up to 72,000 schools (60%) can "go solar" cost-effectively. Approximately 450 individual schools districts have the potential to save more than $1 million over 30 years by installing a solar PV system.

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

The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative provided funding for this report. Read SunShot's blog post about this report, "New Study Reveals the Power of Solar Schools," from October 22, 2014.

DateSeptember 2014                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
TopicFacilities & Buildings; Financing, Incentives and Market Analysis
SubprogramSoft Costs
AuthorThe Solar Foundation