K-12 Solar Schools

Our K-12 Solar Schools program turns school buildings into hands-on science experiments, helping teachers to instruct students about science, math, technology, the environment and other important topics.

Grants support the installation of 1 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) systems throughout Illinois at institutions serving grades K-12. Although each system is relatively small, students see first-hand how sunlight is converted into electricity.

Online monitoring of real-time electricity generation is included in the grant. Grantees receive assistance to coordinate system installation as well as curricular support.

Visit Illinois Solar Schools and Illinois Wind Schools to see real-time data from participants and learn more about our efforts to educate the next generation about renewable energy.

Apply for this Grant 

Application Deadlines:Applications are due February 16, 2016

Review Process:

3 months. The Foundation evaluates applications against the funding criteria below. Within three months of the above deadline, the Foundation's Grant Committee will award grants to some or all of the applicants. The Foundation's review process is competitive.

Available Support:Up to $7,000 or 90% of the system and its installation costs, whichever is less. The Foundation reserves the right to change funding levels and guidelines.

Restrictions: The project must be wholly owned by an eligible applicant and cannot include ownership by private investors or commercial interests. If awarded a grant, the grantee must retire any environmental attributes (i.e. renewable energy credits, emission offsets, etc.) associated with the project.


To be eligible for consideration under the Solar Schools Program, the applicant organization must:

  • be a school or other educational organization that provides continuous educational services to K-12 students
  • have taken steps to make the facility energy efficient (through energy efficiency lighting or other upgrades)
  • have a suitable site for proper PV installation and operation
  • co-fund a minimum of 10% of the PV system installation costs
  • hold a "Solarbration" and make a commitment to teach about solar energy in the classroom
  • commit to educate the community about solar and renewable energy


The Foundation gives priority to projects that:

  • have secured all additional funding

  • feature a strong education and outreach component, including permanent educational signage and other publicity materials

Apply for this Grant