Nearly every business could benefit from switching to solar. From the smallest of offices to largest of factories, and just about everything in between, solar could prove to be a lucrative investment and a great way to use land that’s otherwise remaining unproductive. However, a recent study has shown that schools could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of making the switch over to renewable energy.
Research conducted by Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy, & Environmental Studies has found that based on the available land that these schools have, often in the form of their roofs and parking lots, schools could meet up to 75 percent of their electricity needs each year, and reduce their carbon footprint by 28 percent while doing so! And when you consider that schools across the country spend approximately $14 billion in energy each year, that’s a tremendous savings for schools and taxpayers, as well as an opportunity to open up extra funding for classrooms and educational opportunities!
The study collected data on more than 130,000 schools, including both public and private institutions for students from Kindergarten through 12th grade, and even included more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Researchers took an estimate of how much rooftop space was available at each institution and estimated the amount of hourly electricity output a solar panel system could generate based on the amount of sunshine at the site. The amount was compared to the hourly electricity demand at each school to come up with the final statistics.
Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, an assistant professor at the Stanford who contributed to the study, stated “Schools are paying for electricity anyway. This is a way, in some cases, that they can reduce their costs. If there’s a rebate or subsidy, it can happen more quickly.” Indeed, in some cases schools could cover their entire energy costs and more based on their available roof space and their current energy demands. Schools in sunnier states like California were likely to seen immense benefits from making the switch to solar.
However, even schools in less hospitable climates still saw remarkable reductions in potential energy costs by installing a solar panel system. The research actually didn’t suggest that schools themselves pay for and install solar panels, but rather work with an already established solar power company who can take care of the maintenance, repair, and operation of their solar panel system for them. The study found that purchase-power agreements, an agreement between a customer and solar provider to purchase energy at a reduced rate, are a tremendous source of opportunity for school to make the switch without taking on the cost of purchasing a panel system.
The study also found one other interesting number: the process of adding solar panels to the rooftop of all of the schools in the survey could confer an economic benefit of up to $4 billion per year.
At SunPower by Sea Bright Solar, our Southern California solar installers know full well how valuable solar energy can be for schools. With the ability to produce their own energy, these schools will enjoy a reduced carbon footprint, lower operating expenses, and teach children the important lesson of choosing renewable resources for a greener and more sustainable future. We’ve helped a wide variety of institutions switch to solar energy with a panel system that’s designed exclusively for their needs, and we can help school do the same!
To learn more about switching your home or business over to renewable energy, contact SunPower by Sea Bright Solar at (909) 480-3783 today and speak with one of our solar experts!