Green Schools

New Orleans Elementary Goes Solar

With the help of a fairly extensive regional partnership, Joseph A. Craig Elementary School in New Orleans is implementing a new 25.6 kilowatt solar array, which will provide the school with 36 megawatt hours of electricity per year.

The New Orleans Solar School Initiative (NOSSI), the project that funded and installed the solar array at Craig Elementary, is a partnership between energy provider Entergy, sneaker and apparel giant Nike, global nonprofit Winrock International, the Louisiana Chapter of The U.S. Green Building Council, and the City of New Orleans.

The solar array, the second such installation by the NOSSI project, cost approximately $250,000. Entergy put up $1.5 million for such projects, and the company also purchased carbon offsets from Nike, all as part of its commitments to help stabilize atmospheric CO₂ emissions and to help equip New Orleans schools with alternative energy technology. Nike also donated $150,000, a portion of its revenue from the carbon offsets, to NOSSI.

"With this project, Nike and Entergy showed how markets can be used to reduce emissions and provide local benefits including helping teachers prepare students for a new energy future," said John Kadyszewski, director of the American Carbon Registry at Winrock International.

Craig Elementary, operated by the state-run Recovery School District, is located in the Treme neighborhood, devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The solar array project follows the school's reopening after a two-year, $15.5 million renovation.

"We're delighted about this additional resource for Craig," said RSD Superintendent Paul Vallas. "It will not only provide a sustainable source of energy for the school, but also offer continuous teaching and learning opportunities for our teachers and students."

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.