As school districts struggle to adapt to a nationwide budget crisis brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak, many K-12 schools are shoring up budgets with a switch to solar power, often with minimal to no upfront capital costs. Since 2014, K-12 schools saw a 139 percent increase in the amount of solar installed, according to a new report from clean energy nonprofit Generation180, in partnership with The Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
The report finds that 7,332 schools nationwide utilize solar power, making up 5.5% of all K-12 public and private schools in the United States. Over the last 5 years, the number of schools with solar increased by 81%, and now 5.3 million students attend a school with solar. The top five states for solar on schools—California, New Jersey, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Indiana—helped drive this growth."