Fourth Edition 2022

Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. K-12 Schools

With nearly 50 million students attending over 130,000 K-12 schools, the education sector has an important role to play in our country’s transition to clean energy. This report tracks and analyzes the progress of the movement and shares the success stories of schools that are leading the way.

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On the Path to a Brighter Future

This report found that America’s schools are making progress on the switch to clean energy. Since 2015, the amount of solar installed at K-12 schools has tripled and the number of schools with solar has doubled. Despite this growth, only 9% of schools have gone solar. We are on the path to a brighter future, but we have a long way to go to reach our goal of 100% clean energy powered schools.

The State of Solar at U.S. K-12 Schools

8,409

Number of solar schools

Over 6 Million

Number of students attending a solar school

300,000

Number of homes that could be powered by the solar installed by schools

8,409

Number of solar schools

Over 6 Million

Number of students attending a solar school

300,000

Number of homes that could be powered by the solar installed by schools

Today, Nearly 1 in 10 Schools Has Solar

Growth of Solar

Since 2015, the amount of solar installed by K-12 schools has TRIPLED

Solar Potential

If all U.S. K-12 schools were 100% powered by solar, they would offset the carbon dioxide emissions each year of 16 coal-fired power plants.

Mapping The Solar Movement

School Find a solar school near you and learn more about the solar installation
State View state rankings for school solar capacity and number of solar schools
The map shows the solar schools identified in our national census report through the end of 2021. Help us keep our database updated by adding your solar school.

Schools Save Money With Solar. No Upfront Cost Required.

Find out how schools with budgets of all sizes are accessing the benefits of solar.

Success Stories

Energy Resilience

Leading the Charge Towards Resiliency

Solar with battery storage and microgrids provide backup power during grid disruptions and prevent interruptions to student learning. Schools with these technologies can serve as emergency community shelters during natural disasters and prolonged power outages. Learn how Albuquerque Public Schools became a state leader in the deployment of solar plus battery storage.

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Albuquerque Public Schools, NM

Electrification

District Leadership Paves The Way to Electrification

School districts are transitioning away from fossil fuels by electrifying their buildings and vehicles and switching to clean energy power sources. Learn how Pittsburg Unified School District has taken a comprehensive approach to sustainability that includes building electrification, electric vehicles, solar, and battery storage.

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Pittsburg Unified School District, CA

Community Solar

Community Solar Benefits Tribal Members

Community solar expands access to the benefits of solar to renters and those who can’t install their own solar array. Schools are increasingly participating in community solar projects as the hosts and as subscribers. Learn how the high school on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation is hosting a community solar project in order to help its neighbors lower their electric bills.

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Heart Butte Public Schools, MT

Workforce Development

Lighting the Path to Solar Energy Careers

Solar photovoltaic installer is expected to be one of the country’s fastest growing occupations over the next decade. High schools around the country are training their students with the skills and knowledge to start a career in this dynamic sector. Learn how Denver Public Schools developed a summer Renewable Energy Academy to give its students a head start on careers in clean energy.

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Denver Public Schools, CO

STEM Education

Cultivating Tomorrow’s Scientists through Agrivoltaics

Solar technology is being used by schools in creative ways to provide real-world, hands-on learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. Learn how Tucson Unified School District is cultivating future scientists with hands-on research in agrivoltaics.

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Tucson Unified School District, AZ

Community Activism

Students and Parents Spark Progress Toward 100% Clean Energy

Community activists are speaking up and urging their schools to transition to clean energy and be part of the climate solution. Learn how students and parents in Miami, Florida led the charge for a commitment to reach 100% clean energy by 2030.

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Miami-Dade County Public Schools, FL