|Pfister Energy is excited to have been chosen by Howard County Public Schools to help create the first net zero energy school in Maryland. To achieve net zero energy, a building is designed efficiently to reduce energy usage, then utilizes renewable energy to produce enough energy to meet its annual consumption requirements. Pfister Energy presented unique qualifications, bringing over 12 years of commercial solar experience that evolved from a 100 year old commercial roofing company. Our expertise in roof integrated solar as well as our experience in ground mounted solar was the winning combination that Howard County was looking for.
The new rooftop and ground mounted solar arrays are expected to produce over 826,000 kWh in the first year and more than 19 million kWh over a 25-year period. Wilde Lake Middle School’s solar system was specifically designed to work with additional renewable and energy management solutions (natural daylighting, geo thermal, lighting and building controls) creating a “stackable energy” approach that will offset power consumed onsite and therefore, eliminate the need to buy electricity from the grid.
The new school is nearly 30,000 square feet larger, expected to house 49% more students, and use 50% less energy than the old location.
Statistics show the buildings sector is the primary energy consumer in the U.S. With growing concerns about the stability of our energy grid, fluctuating energy prices, and the impact on our environment, targeting this sector for net zero energy design is the key to minimizing the nation’s energy requirements. We are honored to have been chosen to work on the Wilde Lake Middle School project and are eager to share their story to educate and inspire others.