NC GreenPower Solar Schools Pilot Program
NC GreenPower launched a new pilot program on April 1, 2015. The pilot offers matching grants for the installation of a 2-3 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array at schools, providing clean, green renewable energy in our state.
All K-12 schools in North Carolina are eligible, though emphasis is placed on schools in Tier 1 counties, or those with the most need. Schools will be eligible for a 50% matching grant up to $10,000, and NC GreenPower will assist with raising the balance of funds required. The pilot schools will have until October 30, 2015, to raise their funds and will use NC GreenPower’s fundraising website, my.NCGreenPower.org, to collect donations. Contributions as little as $1 can be made to support any school’s campaign.
As part of the pilot, NC GreenPower will also provide real-time monitoring equipment, a curriculum, lesson plans and training for educators to maximize the learning experience for students. NC GreenPower Vice President Vicky McCann says, “Our goal is to provide teachers and students with a really fantastic educational tool.”
The State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Foundation is partnering with NC GreenPower to offer a matching challenge grant to increase the solar PV systems from 3 kW to 5 kW. The system upgrade will provide an energy impact, as a 5-kW system will likely produce enough renewable energy to power a school’s main office. Annually, the impact saves an estimated 6,570 kilowatt-hours with potential cost savings of $657.
NC GreenPower’s review committee convened to evaluate applications and selected these four schools:
- C.E. Jordan High School, Durham Public Schools
- East Columbus High School, Columbus County Schools
- Meadowview Magnet Middle School, Surry County Schools
- New Bern High School, Craven County Schools