Campus Sustainability

Schneider, S.C. District Partner to Push Net Zero Energy Initiative

Schneider Electric recently announced that it is partnering with the Richland County School District One (Richland One) in Columbia, S.C., to help the district meet its goal of Net Zero energy consumption. Scheduled for completion in 2022, the project will entail adding solar arrays to the roofs of 15 campuses within the district. The two-phase project is set to reduce the district’s energy consumption by almost 73 percent and save them almost $57 million in energy bills across the next 20 years, according to a news release.

The district plans to use the solar arrays to generate renewable energy under its Net Metering program. The district will receive financial credit from local utility provider Dominion Energy for any power that has been generated but not used—for the same rate at which the district would have purchased it.

The solar array project is part of a larger, district-wide comprehensive infrastructure modernization project that began in 2020. The goal of the program is to address deferred maintenance and upgrades to campus HVAC systems. The project also serves as a lead-in for a new STEM curriculum for the district, which will include lessons about energy generation, carbon impact, conservation and sustainability.

“School buildings with legacy equipment were a drain on energy and budgets,” said Justin Shutt, Business Development Manager for Schneider Electric. “We’re pleased to help Richland One truly transform its infrastructure in a way that not only helps achieve their sustainability goals, but also drastically cuts energy costs to free up millions of dollars for other district priorities.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].