Enough to power about 170,000 typical American homes.
According to a recent report from the Office of the President of the Borough of Manhattan (OPBM):
“Installation of solar panels on the rooftops of 1,094 public school buildings in New York City could host 169.46 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity and eliminate 76,696 tons of carbon from the air each year – the equivalent of planting over 400,000 trees. A full build-out of solar panels on public school roofs would increase solar capacity in the five boroughs by over 2,500 percent, and could create an estimated 5,423 green collar jobs.”
The report was made possible by New York University’s NYC Solar Map, one of a host of emerging web tools that are making it easier for people to move away from the dirty energy grid.
Elsewhere in the country, several school systems have already embraced solar power. Denver, for instance, recently started saving $1 million dollars in annual energy costs through a single 1.8-megawatt “school top” solar deal. All told, the city now has 3 megawatts of solar on its schools and 1 megawatt on its municipal buildings. San Jose, California, has a school solar plan in the works that willl save it $25 million annually. And in Milpitas, California, 80% of the local school district’s power needs are already being met by rooftop solar arrays.
So how do we turn the rest of the country’s schools into distributed power stations? The key will be to move beyond the era of complicated, one-off projects and big bank solar finance. It’s time to make it simple and financially feasible for people to come together to create renewable energy in their own neighborhoods, boroughs, towns, and cities.
Here at Solar Mosaic we’re working hard on a platform that will empower communities around the country to catch some serious rays. While we can’t say much at the moment due to an SEC-mandated quiet period, you can sign up here to be the first to know when we launch.