Solar power capacity on higher-education campuses has grown 450 percent over the last three years, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) reports.
The association documented the growing embrace of solar energy in a newly compiled Campus Solar Photovoltaic Installations database. It attributes the increase solar installations to a 40 percent drop in the installed cost of solar over the last four years and new financing mechanisms.
The database also enabled AASHE to glean several facts about solar power on college campuses:
- The 137 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity installed on higher-education campuses to date is equivalent to the power used by 40,000 U.S. homes.
- The market in 2010 for on-campus solar installations in the United States was more than $300 million.
- Higher education solar installations in 2010 made up 5.4 percent of the total 956 MW installed that year in the United States.
- Since 2009, the median project size has grown sixfold as more institutions have been deploying arrays that are large enough to provide a significant portion of their overall electricity needs:.
- Only five states installed more solar in 2010 than the 52 MW installed on U.S. campuses in 2010.