The cost of installing solar power is at a record low. Solar delivers clean, sustainable energy for less, and schools across New Mexico are leading the way.
Financing of solar projects for schools can take many forms, including a power purchase agreement (PPA), where a third-party owns and operates the system and passes on the savings.
Rio Rancho Public Schools executed a PPA that saves the district approximately $700,000 per year in utility costs.
Santa Fe Community College was among the first campuses in the nation to adopt a sustainability plan. Solar installations and energy efficiency implementation saved the college approximately 40% in energy costs in 2016.
Nonprofit K-12 schools and higher education institutions are also eligible for tax-exempt bonds, which can be used for low-cost financing of energy efficiency projects. More information is available from the Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
The City of Albuquerque used bonds to finance twenty-five million dollars of solar projects for city buildings.
Of course, some of the biggest savings come from using less power altogether. Schools can pay for facility upgrades that provide energy efficiency through Energy Savings Performance Contracts. More information for schools is available from the State of New Mexico.
Schools across the state are already realizing savings.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has gathered resources for universities who are interested in going solar. K-12 schools interested in saving money through energy efficiency and renewable energy can follow this guide from the Department of Energy.