Austin ISD is on track to install solar panels on 16 more schools thanks to a nearly $15 million federal grant.

In a nutshell

The U.S. Department of Energy will award AISD the grant to help the district achieve its goal of having net-zero-emissions schools and increasing investment in disadvantaged communities within the district. In addition, district officials said the program will actively engage minority- and women-owned businesses with a particular focus on those located within federal Historically Underutilized Business Zones.

Zooming in

According to documents shared by the Department of Energy, the district requested $14.95 million for solar panel installations at 16 schools within the district. AISD is the only school district in Texas that was chosen to receive a grant from the department as part of its Renew America's Schools program.

Zooming out

The district has already implemented solar rooftop panels at 14 of its facilities—13 schools and the Performing Arts Center. AISD officials said each of those panels is capable of producing 2 megawatts of energy—enough to power 230 homes. As of Dec. 1, AISD schools had produced more solar power than all other Texas school districts combined, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Quote of note

“As one of the nation’s pioneers in sustainability and energy efficiency, Austin ISD is known for its ability to rapidly implement complex equity-centered infrastructure projects and to foster creative partnerships that meaningfully engage students in green tech and sustainability-focused education,” energy department officials said in a news release.