Through its Solar Schools Census, the BDR Memorial, the National Solar Schools Consortium, and other activities in development, TSF supports K-12 schools across the country in their efforts to deploy solar energy.
On September 18, 2014, The Solar Foundation and its research partners at SEIA released the most comprehensive database known of K-12 schools that have gone solar throughout the United States. Most notably, the research team found over 3,700 K-12 schools have gone solar – reaching over 2.7 million students. TSF’s National Solar Schools Census serves as a starting point for sharing ideas and best practices between schools experienced with solar energy and those seeking to join their ranks.
Maryland Solar Schools
Building off the success of the National Solar Schools Census, The Solar Foundation recently released a Maryland solar schools report, entitled Brighter Maryland: A Study on Solar in Maryland Schools, assessing the state’s current K-12 solar schools, and the many opportunities for installing more solar on schools throughout Maryland. The report looks at the economic, environmental, and educational impacts of existing solar schools to students, schools, and communities, as well as the potential employment and community resilience ramifications under various scenarios of adding new solar on Maryland schools. While this report can be an educational tool for potential solar schools, ultimately, it can inform Maryland policymakers and school administrators on the significant role of solar schools in achieving the state’s climate action and renewable energy goals.
In April 2014, nonprofit organizations and solar companies from across the nation announced the launch of the National Solar Schools Consortium at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference in Boston, Massachusetts. The Consortium is designed to act as unified voice for the growing solar schools movement, promoting the use of solar energy on K-12 and post-secondary schools. TSF is proud to serve as co-chair of the Consortium. Interested organizations should consider becoming members.
In fall 2012, The Solar Foundation entered into an ambitious partnership to honor the memory of our late friend and colleague, Brian D. Robertson (former CEO of Amonix and co-founder of SunEdison). The Brian D. Robertson Memorial Solar Schools Fund (BDR Fund) was created to introduce students to solar power by having a total of 20,000 solar energy systems installed at K-12 schools across the nation by 2020. The “20/20 Vision of Solar in America”™ will put solar electricity within reach of millions of students across the country – a goal that embodies Brian’s belief that education is critical for developing a green energy economy and strengthening our nation’s future.
The Solar Foundation is pleased to sponsor this bold program and to help make it a success. In addition to managing the finances and collecting donations for the benefit of the Memorial Fund, we will lend our expertise working with schools and help them coordinate with the solar industry.