Solar Installs Grow On College Campuses

Solar installations on university and college campus in the United States have boomed over the last three years. Those are the findings compiled from a new database created by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

According to the data, solar capacity has grown 450 percent over the last three years in the higher education sector. The AASHE Campus Solar Photovoltaic Installations database also found that the drop in the cost of solar, by about 40 percent, and new available financing have prompted higher learning institutions to turn to solar as a way to guard against rising electricity prices.

USC Solar Panels

image via University of South Carolina

The numbers also revealed additional interesting tidbits of information, like,  the 137 megawatts (MW) of solar installed on higher education campuses is enough to power 40,000 U.S. homes.  And, the market for on-campus solar installations was more than $300 million in the United States.

The goal of the new database is to promote and advocate for further solar installation on campuses throughout the nation. Database users can find stories of solar success like the University of San Diego, which installed 5,000 solar panels on 11 buildings with the help of federal and state incentives. The project now provides for 15 percent of the campuses electricity usage.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.