Schools seeing savings from solar installations
As solar installations become increasingly cost-effective, more schools and other large buildings are realizing that they can make use of their extensive rooftops to save them money.
Recently, Duke Energy and and Integrys Energy Services helped to set up a new rooftop solar installation on the roofs of schools across two districts in central Pennsylvania. The Bald Eagle Area School District and Bellefonte Area School District around Bald Eagle Creek worked together to install roughly 1.5 megawatts-worth of solar panels across the tops of six schools throughout the districts.
In some areas, schools are even finding it cost-effective to add free-standing solar installations, with the San Jose Mercury News reporting that Bay Area schools have begun adding carports topped with solar panels. The Mt. Diablo Unified School District's 11.2 megawatt solar installations are expected to save more than $220 million over the next 30 years.
"It's one of the best investments that this school district has made maybe ever," Mt. Diablo board president Gary Eberhart told the Mercury News. "Certainly, it's one that's going to pay off larger than any other ever made. If we hadn't done this, we could have been closing schools and laying people off."