Why America's Schools Are Turning Into Solar Power Stations

Wednesday, Jul 29th | 8:30 pm

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On the campus of Galesburg High School in Northwestern Illinois, there is a football field, a track, eight tennis courts, two baseball and two softball diamonds, and an acre of photovoltaic panels capable of generating nearly 1.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

The array will knock at least $40,000 off the school’s energy bill over the next few years, and superintendent John Asplund expects the number to go up after that. At a time when the coronavirus threatens not just school administrators’ ability to bring kids into the classroom but also their latitude to keep teachers and assistants employed, energy savings could translate to saved jobs.

“Some say they haven’t gotten into [solar] because it seems too good to be true,” said Asplund, whose district includes five other schools, three of which have their own new solar arrays. “But it really is true. You can save a lot of money ... and you can help the environment.”

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