Irving Independent School District announces today it has selected GridPoint, Inc., an established leader for smart energy solutions, to design, engineer and install a 582 kilowatt solar panel system on Lady Bird Johnson Middle School.
Set to open August 2011, the school will be the largest net zero-energy school in the United States.
A zero-energy building is one that produces as much energy as it consumes. By using the most energy efficient materials and on-site power generation, the building's energy consumption will be approximately half the consumption of a typical middle school building.
"The zero-energy school will reinforce teaching and learning as it becomes an extended classroom. With the use of efficient materials and cutting-edge renewable energy technology, the building transforms into a three-dimensional learning space," states Scott Layne, assistant superintendent for support services.
GridPoint will be installing Solyndra, a unique cylindrical solar panel specifically designed for commercial rooftops, offering a low weight, non-penetrating mounting system, superior wind and soiling performance. The state-of-the-art solar panel system will maximize the 150,000 square foot school's entire roof space to ensure generation exceeds consumption. Each panel is made up of 40 individual modules, wired in parallel for high current, which capture sunlight across a 360-degree photovoltaic surface capable of converting direct, diffuse and reflected sunlight into electricity.
"GridPoint is pleased to be working with the Irving Independent School District as they utilize solar technology to educate students," said Jeff Ross, senior vice president of GridPoint. "Every aspect of Lady Bird Johnson Middle School is an opportunity for its students to learn firsthand the value of renewable energy and energy conservation."
The roof-mounted solar energy system will also feature an intelligent monitoring solution to record and display the current and historical energy production. This information allows Irving Independent School District to closely monitor system performance through a web-interface.
Other key contributors of the project include architectural firm Corgan Associates, general contractor Charter Builders and IEG Consulting.