Work with a community solar company to install solar panels on your school’s roof. Your school will not have to pay a dime, and neighbors can actually earn money in the process!

Graphic: Clean Energy Resource Teams

WHY COMMUNITY SOLAR?

  • Climate — Solar energy is a way of producing electricity that does not produce greenhouse gases.
  • Community Wealth — By selling solar energy to your local utility, your school and your neighbors can earn money. If you focus on getting low-income neighbors to subscribe, this is a way to generate wealth in communities that need it the most.

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Your school can sign up to host solar panels on their roof. The school rents out its roof space to a community solar company. The school will be paid for this, and the company will then install the solar panels.
  2. Your school and your neighbors can purchase a subscription to the solar energy, and in return, you get a payment on your energy bill. The payment is designed so that you earn more money on your energy bill than you pay in your subscription.

There are many companies offering community solar. Here is a story about one community solar company that is partnering with low-income communities for climate justice.

Who owns the solar panels?

The community solar company owns the panels. They will find investors to cover the upfront cost of buying and installing solar panels. Your school does not have to pay a dime to build the solar array.

What are the roof space requirements?

Your school must have an unshaded rooftop with at least 60,000+ sq ft. It’s best if the roof is relatively new or recently repaired. You can use this website to estimate how much roof space you have.

Where does the electricity go?

It doesn’t stay in your school. It connects to the electricity grid, which in turn powers your school. So your school will not be solar powered, but it will help reduce the amount of coal and other fossil fuels that are needed to power our metro area.

What will my school commit to?

A lease with the community solar company and, assuming your school wants to, a contract to purchase some of the energy produced.

What are the benefits for my school?

  • Your school has an option of purchasing a subscription to a portion of the solar energy. The rest can be shared with neighbors. Neighbors will also purchase subscriptions.
  • The solar panels are lightweight and will protect the roof from UV radiation and damage.
  • This project will promote neighborhood wealth-creation and renewable energy!