Customized Montebello High School Solar Carport | a job

Administrators and students at Northeast Early College High School in Montebello celebrated the completion of a $1.5 million solar carport project Wednesday with a ribbon cutting.

The project is expected to generate $200,000 in annual energy bill credits that will be donated to Denver Public Schools families in need. Participating families can save up to $700 per year on average.

Funded by the Denver Climate Fund through a 0.25% local sales and use tax approved by Denver residents in 2020, the project is one of 11 community solar gardens planned as part of the Denver Community Renewable Solar Initiative.

The initiative aims to reduce carbon emissions and provide economic, social and environmental benefits to the community, including electric vehicle chargers and solar canopies throughout the city, and the creation of clean energy job training and student engagement programs to inspire future climate leaders.

“The work is far from over,” DPS Superintendent Alex Marrero said. “We will continue to put our students first and strive for opportunities to achieve our shared sustainability goals as a school district. We will prioritize initiatives that lead to a brighter future for every student. We will continue to emphasize the need for education that nurtures the whole child and provides lifelong support while students are In our schools and those who have not yet entered our halls.

Northeast Early College provides unique opportunities in a highly structured learning environment that emphasizes rigorous academics, technology, workforce readiness, and project-based learning activities. Students can earn an entire college degree on campus — often graduating from college before earning a high school diploma. The school, which opened around 2014, has 572 students, said principal Jennifer Warren.

“For the Class of 2023, we had 17 students who graduated from Aurora Community College 10 days before our high school diploma ceremony,” Warren told the Denver Gazette.

LeeAnn Kittle, director of sustainability at DPS, said the parking will make it easier to integrate renewable energy into the school’s curriculum. Although the students did not work on the project, they will be involved moving forward, she said.

The school district has been working to reduce energy consumption since 2009, according to Kettle, through initiatives like upgrading district-wide LED lights. The majority of Denver Public Schools run on natural gas, but are moving toward electricity.

The solar carport is part of Renewable Denver’s community solar garden portfolio, which is expected to produce approximately 10 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity each year.

McKinstry, a national engineering and construction firm and a longtime energy partner to both the City and County of Denver and Denver Public Schools, designs and deploys each of the 11 community solar gardens.

“McKinstry is very proud of our efforts to support Denver in its just transition to a carbon-neutral future while enhancing STEM education opportunities,” Leslie Larocque, McKinstry’s senior vice president, said on its website. “Our city residents have made clear that community resiliency and environmental justice are essential to our future, paving the way for new partnerships to accelerate renewable energy as a force for positive change and fiscal responsibility.”

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(tags for translation) Northeast Early High School

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