Solar for Academic Institutions
As electrical prices rise and school district budgets tighten, academic institutions are looking for ways to save money and reduce general fund expenditures. A non-taxable entity such as a school cannot take advantage of solar tax credits and incentives. With programs available through solar contractors like Eagle Point Solar, an academic institution (i.e. high school, college, university) can greatly reduce monthly electric costs and quickly add much-needed capital to their general fund. Solar for academic institutions could very well be the right solution.
Additionally, solar just works well on school rooftops. Academic institutions typically will have flat unshaded rooftops allowing for peak performance for a solar array. The installation of a ballasted solar energy system on a flat roof is quick and therefore less expensive to install.
The cost savings of solar for an academic institution greatly depends on the local utility solar policy, the size of the system, and how much energy the system is designed to offset. Systems can be designed and engineered to offset 100% of the institution’s electric use or targeted to offset usage from a specific building. The cost savings of going solar comes from harvesting the free renewable energy from the sun, coupled with the financing power of the Power Purchase Agreement. The two resources combined make solar an attractive solution to enhancing academic institution general fund balances.
Benefits of Power Purchase Agreement Financing
The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) concept is a simple, yet extremely effective financing tool for any organization not able to take advantage of the renewable energy tax incentives offered by state and federal governments. It also means, in most cases, organizations are able to install solar equipment and begin utilizing clean, renewable energy with little or no up-front investment.
There are generally three parties involved in a PPA: the Energy Consumer, the Investor, and the Installer. The process involves the Energy Consumer working with the installer to determine the proper design and installation specifications for the system to be installed. Once this is completed, the terms of the PPA can be calculated and an agreement is formed between the Energy Consumer and the Investor. The Investor then pays the installer for the design and installation of the solar array and begins to collect the agreed-upon payments for electricity generated (for the agreed term) from the Energy Consumer. Once the term expires, the Energy Consumer typically purchases the project from the Investor for a nominal amount and owns the project outright for many years to come.
The PPA model provides academic institutions with a financing option that has little to no investment, offers flexible term lengths, provides predictable energy costs, and contains flexible buy-out terms.
It is no secret the use of solar, directly and indirectly, helps to curve our dependence on the use of non-renewable fuel sources. This reduction in our use of dirty energy, created as a result of burning fossil fuels, greatly combats global warming trends by reducing our carbon footprint of toxic greenhouse gas emissions released into our atmosphere. Solar is clean, renewable energy helping to make a positive difference in the world around us… one panel at a time.
Student Education and Community Support
A direct result of academic institutions utilizing the power of the sun is the indirect educational opportunities and community support which builds around the use of this renewable technology. Schools utilizing solar often create an energy and sustainability conscience student body. A solar array allows students to see first-hand how solar energy works and the impact it has on the school’s carbon footprint and overall environment. Solar quickly becomes a significant addition to science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) classes.
As participation and excitement continue to grow within the student body, community support is often not too far behind. Academic institutions leading the charge to reduce their carbon footprint and divert their electric savings to target popular programs and/or school initiatives will often find increased support from community leaders, residents, businesses, donors, educators, and students. Growing school spirit is often an indirect result of growing your own energy from the sun.
Beginning your district’s solar journey shouldn’t be a daunting task. Choose to work with a qualified, reputable solar developer. Eagle Point Solar has over a decade of experience working with superintendents, principals, school boards, student bodies, local governments, utilities, finance partners, and community residents to design, engineer, and present a solar energy solution designed to meet the needs of your school district and community.
To see more solar projects for schools and institutions completed by our team visit the PROJECTS page and click on Academic.
For more information and to schedule a consultation on how the power of solar will benefit your academic institution contact:
Academic Institution Virtual Solar Energy Webinar Video
Have you ever wondered if a solar array on your academic institution makes financial sense?
Learn about the benefits of renewable solar energy technology to greatly reduce monthly electric costs and quickly add much-needed capital to your general fund. Watch our academic presentation video.