- Do your facilities have available space for a solar installation? Most schools are great candidates for solar because they have underutilized, unshaded rooftop or parking lot space that is perfect for solar.
- How much do you spend on electricity each year? Schools spend a significant amount of their annual operating budgets on electricity, which can be reduced by generating their own solar power during peak demand hours.
- At what times of year are you using the most electricity? Electric usage peaks during the school year. In summer, schools have a lower electric load. In states that have net metering like California, schools can benefit by generating excess electricity during the summer when rates are higher and usage is lower. The power their systems generate is then credited to them at a higher rate than the rate at which they are often consuming the power during the school year.
It’s very rewarding to see a school take advantage of the opportunities to combine a solar project with their educational mission. During a solar installation, many schools supplement their regular curriculum with teaching about sustainability, renewables and solar energy. SunPower supports these efforts by partnering with a group called “Project Lead the Way.” Together, we develop a curriculum that focuses on clean energy practices to inspire the next generation to become involved and support sustainable practices.