Walmart Solar Schools Program

In the fall of 2009, the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) received a $1.2M grant from the Walmart Foundation to create a solar schools program on 20 schools among the following 5 cities in the United States:

Washington DC

Chicago, Illinois

Seattle, Washington

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Los Angeles, California


Each installation will be 5 kW and will be either pole mounted or installed on the edge of the roof of the school. In addition to four schools receiving PV panels, each city will also receive relevant, age appropriate curriculum and teacher training. The Schools get the electricity for free and any "green tags" associated with the installations.

The grant from the Walmart Foundation will cover 100% of the costs of the installations, the curriculum and training. The systems will be grid tied and will include an on line data collection system for monitoring purposes.

Grant Requirements

While the systems will generate free electricity to the schools, the purpose of the program is to provide teaching tools that help educate the students specifically about energy, the environment, renewable energy, electricity, and generally in both science and math classes. The training and materials will be tailored to grade and state standards, and has been utilized by various government agencies and many school systems. The two basic grant requirements are as follows:

The panels must be visible from school grounds. The panels should be placed in a highly visible location.

At least three teachers from each school must attend at least one teacher training workshop. We will pay for the cost of any and all substitute teachers hired by the school while the teachers are attending the workshops.

About us: Both 501 (c) 3 organizations, the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) and the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), will be jointly administering this program.

Curriculum Description

NEED’s Solar curriculum is written at four levels, primary, elementary, intermediate, and secondary. Students in grades K-8 will learn about solar energy transformations including solar energy to thermal energy and solar energy to electricity, through hands-on, inquiry based investigations. Secondary students focus on photovoltaics and variables that affect electricity generation. All of the solar materials are correlated to the National Science Education Standards, and each state’s science standards.




Other Solar School Sites

Standards Correlations

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