Solar for Schools

It was somewhat of a shock, and definitely a disappointment, when I learned that our new $95 million high school didn’t include any plans for solar energy. One of the Peters Township high school students shared her disappointment with me as well, saying her high school environmental group hadn’t made any headway promoting renewable energy from solar, for their new school building.

It’s somewhat of a dichotomy, since our upscale community is witnessing a surge in the number of Tesla EV’s on local roads. That being said, our Peters Township municipality has been a real laggard with renewable energy, when compared to a truly progressive one like the Borough of Forest Hills, Pa.

“For the municipal building, the Borough of Forest Hills developed a facility with a net-zero energy usage, meaning that the clean, solar photovoltaic energy produced on-site is sufficient to power the building while producing zero emissions.”

2020 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence

Meantime, our local electric utility (West Penn Power, part of FirstEnergy) is increasing their residential rates FORTY-FIVE percent (45%) on June 1st. A sign of what ongoing reliance on fossil fuels, increasingly methane gas, will mean with ongoing commodity price hikes. Add to this a 3.4% Peters Township school tax increase, the second school tax increase in as many years.

There’s still time for our Peters Township School District to make a move to renewable energy, at little to no out-of-pocket cost, as seen in this new report, POWERING A BRIGHTER FUTURE IN PENNSYLVANIA. Renovations to existing schools will also provide a new opportunity to ‘Go Green.’

“Third-party ownership accounted for two-thirds (66%) of the cumulative solar capacity installed on Pennsylvania schools. 74% of the solar capacity installed between 2020–2022 was financed through third-party ownership. By switching to solar, schools can reduce their burdensome operational expenses and stabilize long-term energy costs.”

Powering a Brighter Future in Pennsylvania PDF

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