North Carolina is home to over 100 clean energy powered schools

Photos and Data Courtesy of Appalachian State University and NC GreenPower Solar+Schools

Celebrating Clean Energy Powered K-12 Schools, Colleges, and Universities

There are more than 1,200 commercial scale renewable energy projects across North Carolina, including over 100 K-12 Schools, Colleges, and Universities that are generating energy via the sun and wind – and even more schools are making energy efficient upgrades. Joining a fast-growing trend among large energy customers nationwide, North Carolina's schools are making significant investments in clean energy to save money and deliver greater predictability to their energy bills. We salute all of our state's clean energy powered schools for their leadership and have highlighted several below.


Clean Energy Powered Educational Institutions

"It's immensely rewarding to see first-hand how bringing solar education to schools enhances students' learning. Our ultimate goal is to have at least one Solar+ School in each of North Carolina's 100 counties."

NC GreenPower Solar+ Schools
Katie Lebrato

"Students have shared several ways that they have become more responsible at school and at home. At times it seems as though students take on the role as educator when they remind the class about the importance of conserving energy around the class, i.e. turning off laptops when not in use, unplugging devices like speakers when not in use, and turning off classroom lights. They were excited when I shared with them that the solar array would eventually power the entire front office allowing CIS to save money that could go towards other school initiatives."

Cabarrus County | Concord, North Carolina

Carolina International School

“We are so excited to be bringing this wonderful opportunity to our school, community, and students. Not only will we be modeling good stewardship, but our students will also use the solar array to enhance their math and science curriculum.”

Queens Creek Elementary School has been an NC Green School of Excellence since 2014, an honor that recognizes K–12 schools in the state dedicated to sustainability. The grid-tied array is estimated to produce about 6,570 kWh each year, with a potential cost savings to the school of $657 annually. The panels will provide power to the school library and cafeteria.

Onslow County  | Swansboro, North Carolina

Queens Creek Elementary School

Elaine Justice

"These panels represent something more than just producing renewable energy. It represents the beginning of the future for our industry and your world.” Clark also noted that North Carolina is No. 3 in the solar production of electricity in the United States. Beyond energy production, Clark said young students involved in the solar project now could be the future leaders in the renewable energy industry.

Onslow County  |  Jacksonville, North Carolina

CEO of Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Corporation

Jeff Clark

“We were thrilled to assist both Alleghany High School and Cove Creek with these exciting and innovative projects, and we were glad they applied for and were selected to be part of this program. These projects will educate the students about new and emerging technologies in the energy space that should help shape a brighter future for all of us.”

Watauga County | Vilas, North Carolina

Director of Energy Solutions at Blue Ridge Energy

Jason Lingle

NC GreenPower Solar+Schools

NC GreenPower's Solar+ Schools program provides grants for 3-5 kW solar educational projects at schools, complete with a weather station, data monitoring, curriculum from and training for teachers. This package, worth nearly $42,000, is available to any North Carolina K-12 school. Each school is responsible for fundraising a fixed portion of the construction cost ($6,000 - $12,000) while NC GreenPower provides funding for the remaining costs.

Solar Schools
kWh Produced
Students Educated
Carolina International K-12 16.18 t 20,969.59 kWh $2,306.66
Queens Creek Elementary 19 t 26,842 kWh Estimated $1,314
Cove Creek Elementary 6.42 t 12,110 kWh $2,937.71

Learn more about how North Carolina’s economic future continues to be impacted by clean energy