By Mark Olaide by The Arizona Republic
A new study published this month shows rapid growth of solar energy being harvested in K-12 schools across the nation, with Arizona near the front of the pack.
The Solar Foundation worked with the Solar Energy Industries Association to produce Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Sierra Club.
Arizona, the sunniest state in the nation, ranks third for overall photovoltaic capacity in K-12 schools. Currently 226 Arizona schools have solar systems in place that can generate a combined 66,288 kilowatts of electricity annually. The report estimates that level of output is worth more than $9M in lowered electricity bills.
Only New Jersey and California can produce more electricity from photovoltaic installations than Arizona, over 90,000 kilowatts and over 215,000 kilowatts, respectively.
The study found that of the roughly 125,000 K-12 schools in the country, about half can install photovoltaic units cost-effectively. Already 3,752 schools, serving nearly 2.7 million students, are harvesting solar energy.
Schools installed more than 3,000 of those units within the last six years, at least partially in response to decreasing costs associated with solar energy.
Read more at The Arizona Republic