A secondary school and a residents association in Barcelona have joined forces with the city council to create a solar energy community. They hope to be able to grow across large areas of the city and bring solar energy to roofs all over.

Quatre Cantons secondary school is in the former industrial district of Poblenou, but now, the solar panels on the roof supply power to the school and 30 houses in the area. The Guardian reported that each household has 500W of free electricity, which equals a 25 percent cut in their energy bill.

The plan was first proposed in 2018 when a spokesperson for the residents association, Marike Charlier, began to talk with the school about cutting down energy. The school and the residents association joined forces and got the council to agree to foot the €94,000 cost of installing solar panels on the roof of the school.

The Guardian reported that the 30 households then became clients of Barcelona Energia, which is the electricity company run by the council. Once the panels are operational, the school will get 30 percent of the electricity that is generated, a teacher told The Guardian.

The school hopes to get solar panels on other schools in the area and help out the local communities as well. Projects worldwide are developing new ways to utilize solar panels and move away from dirty fossil fuels. Architecture students in Barcelona just built a solar-powered greenhouse that uses 50 percent less energy than it produces. Virginia is transforming abandoned coal mines into solar farms, and a start-up is helping retrofit old buildings in Brooklyn to use clean energy. The latest climate report from the IPCC is a final warning for governments around the world about global warming, so it’s great to see companies taking the initiative and working towards a renewable future!

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