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In one of the largest roof-top solar installations in Texas, the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) has partnered with Pasadena Independent School District (PISD) to install approximately 145 kilowatts (kW) of solar energy technologies at Sam Rayburn High School and South Houston High School. The "East Harris County Solar Energy Pilot Program," a two-year project managed by HARC, will demonstrate the viability and efficiency of solar electric systems used to produce electricity in the Houston environment. As an added benefit, students at the two high schools will gain real-world laboratory experience, learning first-hand about the promise of alternative energy systems.


Ignite Solar has designed a comprehensive solar project that incorporates Moser Baer multi-crystalline, Sharp thin-film, and Solyndra® cylindrical CIGS solar technologies and provides dynamic educational components such as a solar learning lab, educational kiosks and portable demonstration units for each campus.


The installed system will reduce PISD’s carbon footprint by approximately 124 metric tons of CO2 equivalent with clean energy production and provide approximately $15,000 in savings annually.


Funding for this project was made pursuant to the settlement of a Clean Air Act enforcement suit brought by Environment Texas and the Sierra Club.


Program Objectives 

  • Design and install a solar system that is sustainable
  • Provide a solar energy system that visibly demonstrates how a solar energy system can be installed on an existing structure in several ways
  • Collect, interpret and report data to study the benefits and efficiency of the diverse systems
  • Provide information to students, architects, scientists, engineers and others on the durability and performance of the solar energy system installedd
  • Offer PISD students real-world experience in assessing the performance of a major solar installation


About the Team


Pasadena Independent School District has established itself as the International Center for Leadership in Education's 2008 National Model School District. Every year, its students earn state, regional and national recognition for academic achievements. The district has 34 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, 10 intermediate schools, 5 high schools and 4 alternative education facilities.

Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) is a not-for-profit organization based in The Woodlands, Texas, dedicated to improving human and ecosystem well-being through the application of sustainability science and principles of sustainable development. In a nonpartisan and collaborative manner, HARC is a conduit from basic research to action fostering the implementation of policies and technologies based on rigorous principles of social science, natural science, and engineering. HARC's research themes support sustainability solutions in ecosystems, water, air & climate, clean energy, the built environment, and environmental health.

Ignite Solar, LLC is a Houston-based company that specializes in the design of commercial and large-scale solar photovoltaic projects and manufactures tracking systems in the U.S. For this project, Ignite Solar plans to use Houston-based American Electric Technologies (NASDAQ: AETI)for power distribution and converter systems and Tecta Solar for panel installation.

Broaddus & Associates is a facilities program management and planning firm based in Houston. The firm’s project management approach combines research proven “Best Practices” with experienced staff to produce targeted results.

Environment Texas is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. Its professional staff combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for Texas' environment. Environment Texas draws on over a decade of success in tackling the state's top environmental problems.
Sierra Club, since 1892, has been working to protect communities, wild places, and the planet itself. It is the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. Its founder’s image, John Muir, appears on the back of the California quarter.


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