New Initiative Brings Solar Power to Rochester Schools

Rochester, a city known for its commitment to renewable energy, is taking another step forward in sustainability with the installation of solar panels on two local schools. Dakota Middle School and Longfellow Elementary have been chosen as beneficiaries of the Solar for Schools program, which offers grants to schools interested in investing in renewable energy solutions.

Under the program, Rochester Public Schools (RPS) has received $84,000 for each school, covering roughly half the cost of purchasing and installing the solar systems. Although RPS will need to finance the remainder of the project, the district is optimistic about the long-term savings from reduced electricity bills once the panels become operational.

“We’re paying less for electricity and the amount we’re paying the developer,” explains John Carlson, RPS Chief Administrative Officer. This means that the cost of financing the project will be offset by the ongoing savings on electricity expenses, allowing the schools to reap the benefits of renewable energy.

Not only will this initiative help the schools generate their own electricity, but it also aligns with RPS’s broader efforts to reduce energy consumption. In fact, the district reported saving an impressive $3 million in energy costs over a four-year period leading up to November 2022.

Rochester’s commitment to renewable energy extends beyond Dakota Middle School and Longfellow Elementary. Other schools in the area, including those in Byron, Stewartville, and Plainview-Elgin-Millville, have also received grants from the Solar for Schools program. This collaborative effort reinforces the importance of sustainable practices in education and highlights the positive impact that renewable energy can have on our communities.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly installed solar panels at Dakota Middle School and Longfellow Elementary will take place on Wednesday, November 15, symbolizing the city’s dedication to a greener future. As RPS continues to explore solar energy solutions, the district looks forward to additional projects that will contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly educational environment.


Q: What is the Solar for Schools program?
A: The Solar for Schools program is an initiative that provides grants to schools interested in investing in renewable energy, specifically solar power systems.

Q: How much funding did Rochester Public Schools receive for each school?
A: Rochester Public Schools received $84,000 for each school as part of the grant.

Q: Are other schools in the area participating in the Solar for Schools program?
A: Yes, schools in Byron, Stewartville, and Plainview-Elgin-Millville have also received grants for solar funding through the program.

Q: How will the installation of solar panels benefit the schools and the district?
A: The installation of solar panels will allow the schools to produce their own electricity and reduce their dependence on traditional energy sources. The district will also experience long-term cost savings on electricity expenses.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *