Rio Rancho Public School District No 94 is a school district located in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States. The district operates 19 schools, including 11 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, and 4 high schools, serving over 17,000 students. The district's mission is to provide a safe and challenging learning environment that inspires and empowers students to achieve their full potential.
In recent years, Rio Rancho Public School District No 94 has made significant efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and transition to renewable energy sources. The district recognizes the importance of decarbonisation and is committed to doing its part to combat climate change.
One of the ways the district has achieved this goal is through the implementation of a corporate energy strategy. The district has worked with energy consultants to identify areas where energy efficiency improvements can be made, such as upgrading lighting systems and HVAC systems in schools. By reducing energy consumption, the district has been able to lower its carbon emissions and save money on energy costs.
Another key aspect of the district's energy strategy is the use of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) to source renewable energy. A corporate PPA is a long-term contract between a company and a renewable energy provider, in which the company agrees to purchase a set amount of renewable energy at a fixed price. By entering into a corporate PPA, Rio Rancho Public School District No 94 is able to support the development of renewable energy projects and reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.
In 2019, the district signed a 25-year corporate PPA with a wind farm in Texas, which will provide the district with 50% of its electricity needs. The wind farm will generate enough energy to power 14 of the district's schools, reducing the district's carbon emissions by approximately 22,000 metric tons per year. The PPA is expected to save the district over $80 million in energy costs over the life of the contract.
The district has also installed solar panels on several of its schools, further reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. In 2020, the district completed a solar installation project at Cleveland Middle School, which included the installation of over 1,000 solar panels. The solar panels are expected to generate approximately 500,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, reducing the school's carbon emissions by approximately 375 metric tons per year.
In addition to its energy initiatives, Rio Rancho Public School District No 94 is also committed to promoting sustainability and environmental education. The district has implemented a recycling program in all of its schools, and has partnered with local organizations to provide environmental education programs for students. The district also participates in the National Wildlife Federation's Eco-Schools USA program, which provides resources and support for schools to become more sustainable.
Overall, Rio Rancho Public School District No 94 is a leader in the education sector when it comes to decarbonisation and renewable energy. The district's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and transitioning to renewable energy sources is not only good for the environment, but also helps to save money on energy costs. By promoting sustainability and environmental education, the district is also helping to educate the next generation of leaders about the importance of protecting our planet.