Solar is one of the fastest growing markets and continues to have great impact on our society. In 2012 alone, the solar energy industry grew by 76% in the United States! One particular area of growth for US solar has been school districts across the country that have gone solar to better manage their budgets and reduce their energy bills. The Dublin City High School District in central Georgia, for example, was just recently in the news for their 1.1MW project on their school campus. The solar array is expected to save the school district $3.5 million over the next 25 years.
Why does solar and schools make so much sense? One reason why the Dublin City School Districts and others are going solar is because of the financial benefits that may come with a solar installation. There are several rebates and credits to help make solar more affordable for schools and most solar schools are eligible for Net Metering credits. This Net Metering credit allows schools to route excess electricity back onto the grid and receive credit from the utility company for the energy produced from the solar system. A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is also another great financial option to reduce or eliminate the cost of a solar system. As utility bills are typically the second highest expense for a school district, solar offers schools the security of predictable and reduced energy costs for almost 20 years!
Another important benefit of solar for educational institutions are the teaching opportunities the system can offer the students and local community. Solar installations can offer real-life curriculum content – from the engineering and technology of how solar works to the environmental offset and impact the system will have on the surrounding community. For our clients, Standard Solar offers education programs where students, grades K-12, are introduced to solar and educated with an in-depth curriculum on the benefits of having a solar system and how it works. This helps to grow the students’ knowledge and appreciation of their environment, health and future.
Educational institutions, like The Dublin City School District and others, are discovering how solar makes sense for their budgets and their students. Standard Solar has partnered with several schools to develop, design, engineer, finance and install their solar arrays. “Solar installations are a great fit for educational institutions, providing significant economic and environmental benefits as well as offering educational opportunities for the students,” said Scott Wiater, president, Standard Solar. Some of our education clients Sandy Springs Friends School(SSFS), Catholic University of America (CUA), University of Delaware, Anne Arundel Community College, Wilmington Friends School, St. Mary’s County Public Schools and others.
|Kent County School students touring the Worton 1.26 MW installation with Standard Solar staff.||Students at Sandy Spring Friends School celebrating the completion of the 477 kW solar array.|
We’re excited to head to the Sunshine State next week for Solar Power International 2012 (SPI’12) to meet the solar professionals making this industry thrive, catch up with friends and partners and take advantage of the many learning opportunities that the conference will provide. Our team will be there in Orlando and we are excited to see our valued partners and meet the new faces in solar.
CEO Tony Clifford has been invited to speak during two panel discussions:
“Permitting- DG” - Tuesday, 8:30-10am
“How Trade Policy Will Shape the Solar Industry” – Wednesday, 10:30am-12pm
These sessions and others address the hot topics facing the solar industry, and we look forward to hearing some great ideas and innovative strategies from the speakers and attendees – look for us there!
Did you know that 29 percent of all Americans have listened to at least one audio podcast, and 36 million Americans have listened to a podcast within the past month*?
Well, we are hoping to add to those numbers. We are excited to launch RE:NEW, a podcast series created to provide insight and information to help drive industry thought and market awareness of key renewable energy trends. Talking to today’s solar business leaders, we’ll cover everything from the nuts and bolts of financing to connecting to the power grid, spanning the complete process of installing solar at your home or business. Our first installment, “Anatomy of a home solar electric system,” is available now and can be downloaded on our social media hub or iTunes! Whether you listen during your commute, at home or while working out, we hope that you make RE:NEW a part of your day, to keep up with the ever evolving world of solar.
*According to a 2012 study conducted by Edison Research and Arbitron entitled “The Infinite Dial 2012, Navigating Digital Platforms,”