Urge School Leaders to Put Solar on Schools

The Minnesota state omnibus commerce and energy bill, which was signed into law by the governor in 2021, made $7.5 million in Minnesota state funding available in 2022 for solar installations on schools outside of Xcel Territory—that includes Duluth! The Solar for Schools program grants up to 95% of the installation cost for solar energy systems on Minnesota public schools. 

There are many benefits to putting solar on schools:

  • Educational: Schools can enhance their curricula with solar-focused, hands-on activities covering everything from electricity basics, renewable energy installation considerations, and renewable energy careers.
  • Environmental: Putting solar on schools can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions—estimated to be equivalent to 221,000 cars statewide.
  • Community Leadership: Schools can demonstrate leadership and help inspire children and the community to move towards a more sustainable future.

Over 50 school districts in Minnesota already benefit from solar, but the Duluth Public School District ISD 709 did not act on this opportunity and the deadline for 2022 has passed. The school district should not pass up this opportunity and work to actively pursue funding in 2023. From now until February 21st, schools can complete a Readiness Assessment to be considered for round two of this grant. 

The district can also look into other chances for solar savings for schools in the Inflation Reduction Act, the federal bill passed in 2022 that provides landmark opportunities for public and private entities to get tax credits and discounts on energy efficient technology that will help mitigate climate change. 


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