“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Texas School Goes Solar
From the first moment of sitting down with Mark Diaz, the superintendent of Texas school Cedar’s International Academy, an open enrollment, tuition-free public charter school serving grades PreK – 8th, it is clear that he is a jovial man FULL of energy and vision.
Two years ago Cedar’s Academy began researching the benefits of solar for their school after Dr. Diaz had NATiVE install solar on his personal residence for a 100% offset of his electric bill. In 2014, Cedar’s had NATiVE design and install a 105.6 kilowatt project on the building’s roof, along with a custom-built freestanding carport. The project has been a huge success, offsetting 46% of their electrical use and saving the Texas school $28,000 on electric costs just last year!
Cedars International Academy inspires and nurtures a child’s natural love for learning. We do this by providing a safe, supportive social and academic community where children are given the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential as they grow to be life-long learners.
Money is tight on a school budget. “For the Cedar’s Academy project my goals were to create a viable alternative source of energy for our campus at a cost that we could save money at the same time. Our goals were exceeded and we have a 5 year return on investment. NATiVE under promised, and over delivered”, said Diaz. Since Cedar’s Academy is a public charter school, they don’t have a lot of money so 16 + years of free energy is of utmost benefit for the school.
Not only is the system of financial benefit; it boosts campus morale and is used as a cornerstone of curriculum development through science, math and art. The science class is studying solar energy and the art class painted a huge mural of the sun near the carport array.
Cedars International Academy is a north Austin open enrollment, tuition free public charter school, Pre-K through 8th. Mark Diaz, superintendent, came across Native five years ago through a neighbor referral and quickly became a residential PV system owner himself. Impressed by his reduced home electric bills, he knew installing solar at his charter school was a smart solution for their tight budget. Mr. Diaz’s goal was an alternative source of energy for his campus at a cost that