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AISD board urges district to go solar

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 by Tai Moses

As part of the Austin Independent School District’s new Facilities Master Plan, which was just approved by the board of trustees, the district may explore the possibility of installing solar panels on all school buildings over the next 25 years. District 3 Trustee Ann Teich, who authored the solar resolution, said in a news release, “Solar power is very important and we take it very seriously here at Austin ISD,” adding that the district is already “installing solar on our roofs and on our grounds wherever possible.” The board’s resolution calls solar power “an important instructional tool to teach students about science, technology and sustainability while reducing fossil fuel consumption and averting millions of pounds of carbon pollution for our community annually.” The group Environment Texas launched a campaign in 2018 urging AISD to move away from fossil fuels and commit itself to renewables. To date, AISD has spent only about $3 million of a 2013 school bond that provided $10 million for solar energy. Emma Pabst of Environment Texas said in the news release, “Solar power is a great opportunity to help schools save on electric bills, teach our students about science, technology, and sustainability, and to stand up for the planet. With solar on 45 of their 130 schools, Austin ISD is a clean energy leader. They’ve made great progress on sustainability over the last decade, and the impending effects of climate change call for us to go further.”

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