Posted Date: 02/10/2020
La Joya, TX. A construction project expected to dramatically reduce energy and operating costs is underway at La Joya ISD. The project will update 80% of the district’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, repair the roof and skylights at La Joya High School, replace two grass football fields with artificial turf, and provide electric power conditioning systems. In addition, two pole-mounted solar arrays will generate 1.8 megawatts of clean renewable energy and is distinguished as the largest solar-energy generating school project to date in South Texas.
The 1.5-megawatt solar array at La Joya High School will serve as a STEM-supported solar learning lab for the schools and district. The second 317.6-kilowatt array will be located at La Joya’s Juarez-Lincoln High School. The combined 1.8 MW of solar energy is expected to produce more than three million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, the equivalent to the annual electricity use of 359 homes.
La Joya ISD along with, an energy savings qualified provider accredited by the National Association of Energy Services Companies (NAESCO) and ENERGY STAR Partner, to develop this phase two project, an energy savings performance contract (allowable under Texas Education Code 44.901). Phase two follows the successful completion of phase one, which improved illumination throughout the district with high efficiency LED lighting in classrooms, exterior lighting, and sports fields.
“We are proud to provide a STEM-supported K-12 solar curriculum program at La Joya ISD, which reinforces our commitment to supporting high-performing learning environments while bringing exceptional value with the project that extends to classroom learning.” said Jonathan Blackwell, business development manager for Performance Services. “The customizable curriculum is delivered through our partnership with the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project and includes teacher training and hands-on learning kits that will directly benefit teachers and students by engaging them on how their school’s solar systems projects work,” Blackwell added.
“I am very proud that La Joya ISD is initiating this project, because this project will not only be saving millions of dollars in energy costs to our district but, will also bring educational opportunities for our students with a K-12 curriculum that includes energy saving classroom kits, and teacher trainings. I would like to thank our Board of Trustees for the support to give educational opportunities to students through innovative projects as this one.” stated, Dr. Gisela Saenz, La Joya ISD Superintendent of Schools