Illinois Solar Schools Program
The Illinois Solar Schools Program, sponsored by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, teaches the value of renewable energy and energy efficiency to K-12 students. By turning school buildings into hands-on science experiments, this program makes science fun and teaches students how their everyday actions can positively impact the environment.
The Illinois Solar Schools Program promotes the installation of 1 kW PV systems at K-12 schools and other educational facilities. Although each system is relatively small, students see first-hand on a daily basis how sunlight is converted to electricity. Schools and other educational institutions reduce their electricity consumption by using a clean renewable fuel that is free. To enhance the educational value of the system, online monitoring to provide real-time data on the amount of electricity generated is included in the grant.
Since the program's launch in 2006, the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation has awarded over $2,100,000 in grants to over 220 schools to support the installation of 1 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Annually, each solar school installation will generate about 1,200 kWh of electricity and help avoid 1350 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions.