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More than 300 Arizona schools generating solar energy

Solar energy is an important resource for Arizona’s energy future, but it can also be a learning tool for Arizona’s future citizens.

More and more schools are installing solar panels, thanks to two programs through Arizona Public Service Company (APS) called the APS Schools and Government Program and the APS Renewable Energy Incentive. These programs help to offset the up-front costs of installing solar equipment, which will save schools thousands of dollars per year once in use.

More than 300 schools in 70 districts are participating to make more than 100 megawatts of solar energy. These schools are in cities all over the state, ranging from Yuma to Flagstaff.

Sunnyslope Elementary School in Phoenix installed panels that not only produce power for the campus, but also provide shade in its parking lot and over its main playground.

Lori Ritz, principal of Sunnyslope, was featured in an APS video about the programs.

“I think having the solar here on our own campus became very intriguing to the kids and to the teachers,” she said in the video. “So we really had a hands-on experience for children in terms of learning about solar energy. And it was something right here.”

Ritz also said teaching her students about solar energy isn’t just exciting, it’s also a necessity.

“I think it’s an excellent thing in today’s world to show our children, especially here in Arizona, how the sun can really be utilized in their everyday lives,” she said.