NC GreenPower Announces Awardees of 2023 Solar+ Schools Program
NC GreenPower, our nonprofit subsidiary launched in 2003, recently announced the awardees of its 2023 Solar+ Schools program year. Solar+ Schools provides grants for solar installations at North Carolina K-12 schools. It is open to all public and private K-12 schools in the state.
This year’s program represents a significant change for NC GreenPower. For the first time, awarded schools — 15 in total — will receive grants to pay for the full construction costs for 20-kilowatt (kW) solar arrays, expected to cost $55,000-$75,000 per school. In prior years, Solar+ Schools provided partial grants for 5-kW arrays. The awarded schools will also get a STEM curriculum package, teacher training, a weather station, data monitoring equipment and more.
The schools that have currently accepted the grant include:
- Cape Hatteras Secondary School, Dare County
- CB Eller Elementary School, Wilkes County
- First Flight Elementary School, Dare County
- Lakeforest Elementary School, Pitt County
- Manteo Middle School, Dare County
- MINA Charter School, Lee County
- Mulberry Elementary School, Wilkes County
- New Garden Friends School, Guilford County
- North Wilkes High School, Wilkes County
- Parkwood High School, Union County
- Parkwood Middle School, Union County
- Prospect Elementary School, Union County
- Victory Christian Academy, Halifax County
The solar installations benefit the schools in multiple ways. For example, they serve as educational tools, allowing teachers to compare different weather scenarios and involve students in reading and interpreting the energy data. In total, Solar+ Schools’ STEM and solar curriculum training has benefited more than 280 teachers throughout the state.
The solar arrays also provide an energy impact. NC GreenPower expects them to each generate about 28,000 kilowatt-hours annually, potentially saving schools up to $3,000 per year and likely covering a substantial portion of each school’s energy use. Since the program’s introduction in 2015, Solar+ Schools recipients have collectively saved an estimated $88,000 in electricity expenses.
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