Saving Money with Solar Energy

If you think of the many ways a school impacts its community, you probably think about what’s going on inside its walls. But on top of the Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, its solar arrays are improving the local environment, saving the school money, and contributing to the education of its students.

Lovett is an independent school that enrolls around 1,679 student grades K through 12th grade. The school has numerous programs that support alternative energy use, and over the last few years have added numerous solar arrays to offset its power costs and promote sustainability.

Lovett has two solar arrays. The first was donated by Renewvia Energy, a company connected to Lovett through the Jarrard family, and installed in 2015. It generates around 14,000 kWh (kilowatts/hour) annually. The second array was purchased through the school’s sustainability fund and installed in 2016. It includes more than 200 panels and produces around 76,800 kWh of power annually.

Since 2015, the arrays have already saved the school around $12,000 in electricity costs, but their benefits extend beyond those savings. The arrays produce live and historical data, which is curated and available via an online dashboard the school can access and share with students. The data can be incorporated into the school’s curriculum.

The arrays also benefit the surrounding community by reducing Lovett’s impact on the environment. Lovett estimates it will cut its CO2 emissions by 46.8 metric tons every year for the next 20 to 25 years. To illustrate, it’s like the school planted 38 acres of trees every year for 25 years; or they took ten cars off the road for the next quarter century, saving more than 5,264 gallons of gasoline.

“The Lovett community has prioritized sustainability efforts for many years and we are thrilled with the performance of the arrays and how they contribute to our efforts and enhance our community,” said Billy Peebles, former Head of School at Lovett.

Does your school do something similar?

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