photo credit NASA and Unsplash
photo credit NASA and Unsplash
The Sustainability Team is responsible for managing the energy utilities in most DPS buildings. We work to provide low-cost energy, promote energy efficiency, and support the use of renewable energy where feasible. We’re also working with Transportation to explore low-emission vehicles.
Our team is responsible for the energy utilities budget, bill management, selecting the lowest rates, and renewable energy installations and purchases.
Xcel Energy provides most of our electricity and some of our natural gas. They help us find the best rates, efficiency rebates, and inform us of any opportunities to purchase renewable energy. Xcel also supports efficient building operation and is helping DPS explore electric vehicle infrastructure. See Renewables, Efficiency, and Low-emission vehicles.
Most of our natural gas purchases are made through transport natural gas contracts that yield significant cost savings. Colorado is natural gas deregulated, which allows us to shop for the lowest prices.
We purchase renewable energy from Xcel Energy by participating in their Renewable Choice program. We enrolled all of our Small Commercial (C rate) accounts, which account for a small amount of our overall use. Xcel is also significantly expanding their use of renewable energy sources and has ambitious carbon reduction goals. Read more about Xcel’s Carbon Reduction Plan.
In 2010, DPS entered into solar power purchase agreements and had large arrays installed at 29 schools. Solar power providers own the solar equipment, and we pay for the power. These agreements allow us to be a great partner in supporting renewable energy and also deliver significant cost savings. We have 28 rooftop arrays and one land site at Place Bridge Academy. See below for a list of these schools that have solar production dashboards.
DPS has owned a handful of small educational systems since the early 2000s. In 2019, with the generous contribution of an anonymous donor, DPS installed our first large solar array on our Park St building, which houses Inspire Elementary and Denver Green School Northfield. In 2020, DPS began work on 17 more large installations, which were financed by an energy performance contract.
DPS-owned Solar Arrays
Main St. Power Schools (~100 kW each)
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Castro Solar Monitor (under repair)
CEC Middle College Solar Monitor (under repair)
College View Solar Monitor (81 kW) (under repair)
Fairmont Solar Monitor (under repair)
Harrington Solar Monitor (under repair)
Mitchell Solar Monitor (under repair)
Munroe Solar Monitor (under repair)
Oak Leaf Energy Schools (101 kW each)
Evie G. Dennis Solar Monitor (287 kW)
As part of our strategy to both understand our energy use and engage students, teachers, and staff, we have installed real-time electricity monitors in many of our schools. These measure whole-building electric use and solar power production where applicable.
We installed our first set of electricity monitors as part of a student-led energy competition called Renew Our Schools, a program of Resource Central. Read more about Renew Our Schools on our Challenges and Contests page. Also, please see our solar power education dashboards at Renewables.
These measure electricity use and solar production every second! See below for links to the schools we have covered so far and for instructions on how to use the dashboards.
How to Use the Dashboard