In Jan. 2017, Magnolia Superintendent Dr. Frank Donavan and the Board of Trustees recommended moving the District in a renewable energy, greener direction. The District partnered with ENGIE, formerly known as OpTerra Energy Services. As a result of this partnership, a comprehensive energy plan was developed that will generate $14.1 million dollars in net savings for the District over the next 30 years.
Following months of construction, all nine school sites in Magnolia School District are now the proud owner of a photovoltaic system that converts the sun’s radiation into usable electricity. These new solar structures were purposefully installed on the playgrounds to also serve as shade structures for student benefit. Two other sites within Magnolia School District including the main Administration Building and the Maintenance Yard also benefited by new solar structures in their parking lots.
While generating clean renewable energy was one of the primary goals of the program, so was reducing the amount of energy that is consumed. To achieve this, the following components were also installed:
-380 high-efficiency Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning units that are remotely controlled to ensure efficient operation and monitor space comfort conditions.
-Almost 6,000 interior and exterior light emitting diodes fixtures that improve visibility and site security.
-20 high-efficiency transformers across various schools.
As part of this partnership, ENGIE also supported the purchase of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math kits for all nine schools to provide an education program that connects real-world conservation and sustainability applications.
The solar “switch” was officially flipped on on Dec. 5, 2017 during the District Town Hall meeting that was attended by parents, teachers, and students. The district looks forward to enjoying all the benefits of this great program for years to come.