Solar Power Comes To More Phoenix Schools

By  Stina Sieg
May 30, 2014

(Courtesy of Jay Mann)
A shade structure made of solar panels at Madison No. 1 Middle School in Phoenix generates 60 percent of the school's power.

Classes are out for many students across Arizona, but school districts are already preparing for next school year.

Phoenix’s Madison School District is planning to install solar panels this summer at two of its schools.

That means five of the district’s eight schools will be solar powered. This is a trend in Arizona and beyond. Solar companies install panels at schools at no cost, and then schools agree to pay the companies for the power generated at a discounted price.

As Madison District spokesman Jay Mann explained, this is a way for schools to save after years of budget cuts.

“When you receive less dollars from the state to pay for student education, you need to get creative, and you need to say, ‘Well, what else we do?’” Mann said. “And energy savings is one of those ‘What else can we do?’ sorts of things.”

Mann estimates that the panels save about $55,000. That number will be around $75,000 after the new panels start generating power. That’s expected in February.