Who is Solar Schools Canada – Les Écoles Solaires du Canada?
Solar Schools Canada - Les Écoles Solaires du Canada (SSC) a not for profit corporation established under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act managed by a voluntary board of directors. We are fully insured. We strive to operate with the maximum level of corporate, financial and operational accountability and transparency.
What does Solar Schools Canada do?
We assist public schools to develop and fund their very own solar (photovoltaic) panel systems through providing program expertise and collaborative fundraising capacity. In doing so, we empower those schools to generate their own renewable electricity and realize the resulting environmental, economic and educational benefits.
How do solar schools programs work?
Different models exist for implementing solar schools programs.
We are implementing a solar schools program on a pilot project basis in select public schools across Nova Scotia by employing a non-profit fundraising approach designed to subsidize the capital costs of solar panels.
The five steps noted below summarize our non-profit approach to fundraising solar schools programs:
1. Project development phase. Solar Schools Canada raises the majority of funding to cover the solar panels’ capital costs by appealing to business, government and community members and transfers or directs funds to participating schools.
2. Installation phase. Participating schools use funds to purchase solar panels.
3. Operations phase. Participating schools use solar panels to generate electricity for direct consumption or to sell into the grid, producing a net transfer in funds from the electrical utility to participating schools over the system’s 25-year lifecycle.
4. Reinvestment phase. Participating schools can re-invest cost savings/ revenue in students, teachers and educational resources.
5. Education phase. Participating schools can employ the solar panels as a learning tool to enhance education in STEAM and environment-related subject matter. Students apply that education to benefit their communities at the local, regional, national and global level.
What benefits do solar schools programs create?
Solar schools programs create environmental, economic and educational benefits.
Environmental Benefits. Solar panels enable schools to reduce consumption of comparatively emissions intensive electricity, replacing it with clean, renewable energy, and preventing emissions of significant volumes of green house gases.
Economic Benefits. Schools can use solar panels to generate more of their electricity independently, reducing operating costs, re-investing savings in students, teachers and schools.
Educational Benefits. Teachers can use the solar panels to instruct students in science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics (STEAM), energy & environment related subject matter.
Have solar schools programs been successful in other places?
Thousands of schools in countries around the world, including the U.S., U.K., and Canada, have embraced solar schools programs to realize the unique combination of environmental, economic and educational benefits which solar schools programs create.
What projects has Solar Schools Canada successfully completed?
Solar Schools Canada emerged from the success of a solar schools pilot project at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Project was launched in 2015 as a collaboration between the Environmental Law Students’ Society (ELSS) at the Schulich School of Law and Dalhousie’s Office of Sustainability.
In less than one year, the ELSS and Dalhousie’s Office of Sustainability had mobilized the funds necessary to cover the solar PV systems capital costs through appealing to businesses and individuals.
In August 2017, contractors installed the 3.44 kW system on the roof of the Schulich School of Law.
Over its estimated 25-year lifecycle, the system will:
- generate approximately 4,000 kWh of clean energy annually and 100,000 kWh of clean energy over its lifecycle;
- prevent emissions of approximately 1,500 kilograms of CO2 annually and 40,000 kilograms of CO2 over its lifecycle;
- reduce university operating costs by over $400.00 annually and $8,000.00 over its lifecycle; and,
- set an example that other organizations can follow in developing community based renewable energy projects in Nova Scotia and in Canada.