Process of Going Solar

What is the process for going solar?

The process of going solar will vary depending on the size of your school and how decisions are made. In general, the process of going solar includes:

  1. Look at one year of electric bills for your school or district. This allows you to determine how much power your facility uses and how much a solar system could offset.
  2. Briefly assess your school’s roof and/or grounds to see if solar is a good fit. This involves making sure your roof isn’t shaded, too old, or unable to support panels. The “Is Solar a Good Fit for my School?” section of this guide goes into more detail about the process.
  3. Review the purchasing and/or financing options available to your school, which will depend on the type of solar financing your state allows and whether grants and incentives are available.
  4. Complete a rough financial analysis to give you a sense of the total costs, cost savings, and energy impacts of a solar project.
  5. Compile findings and build public support for the project by presenting to students, parents, community members, and other key stakeholders.
  6. Present the results of your feasibility assessments to key decision-makers to get approval for the project.
  7. Issue a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) or a Request For Proposals (RFP) to solicit bids for the project from local installers.
  8. Launch a fundraising campaign, if necessary, to offset some of the cost of the system.
  9. Review project bids and selecting an installation company.
  10. Hold a community celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony with stakeholders, elected officials, administrators, and community members to celebrate the new solar system!