Who much does solar for a school cost?

The size of a solar installation is measured in kilowatts (kW). A solar system on a residential home is typically between 3 and 5 kW, depending on the size of the roof. This size system usually offsets about 40% to 60% of the home’s electricity use. Solar installations on schools can be much larger if enough roof space is available. For example, many solar projects on schools are 50 kW to 250 kW, or more. 

The cost of solar varies by state and depends on whether any state or local incentives are available. In general, the cost of a system can range from $3,000 to $6,000/kilowatt installed. This includes the cost of the materials, installation, permits, and interconnecting the system to the electrical grid. So, the cost of a small demonstration solar system (1 to 5 kW) could range from $3,000 to $30,000. In contrast, a larger system meant to cover a significant portion of the school’s energy could cost between $60,000 and $1.5 million, depending on its size. 

However, in many states, especially those with robust incentives, there are many options for going solar that do not require money upfront. These include loan programs and third-party financing options.