Dozens of South Australian schools will receive $250,000 grants from the state government to install solar panels and upgrade lights to LEDs.

Education Minister Susan Close says $15 million will be spent to help schools reduce their power costs and emit less carbon.

She says 40 schools will receive solar panels and another 200 will receive $25,000 grants to replace inefficient lights such as fluorescent tubes.

“This is the kind of investment which pays for itself in the long run,” she said.

“This means schools can focus on support and programs for students rather than electricity bills.”

She said the $2 million in savings each year would be shared among all of SA’s public schools.

The move has been praised by solar and climate advocacy groups as another example of the state’s leadership on renewable power.

“It will give students and local communities a taste of a future powered by clean energy,” Dan Spencer from South Australian Solar Citizens said.

Installation of the new solar panels and LED lights will begin this year and is expected to create 38 jobs.