Looking to create an immersive indoor and outdoor environment for students to experience and explore STEAM activities, the Montecito Union School District (USD) partnered with Ameresco to design and install a Nature Lab “Collaboratory.”
The solar installation will generate more than 300,000 kWh per year, creating an environmentally sustainable learning space while exposing the many benefits of renewable energy to the next generation.
“What started out as an environmental stewardship project has turned into an endeavor that also promotes our fiscal responsibility. Plus, we have a beautiful shade structure that has become our Collaboratory: a place where students can explore, create terrific art, get messy with science and so much more. The Ameresco team was a joy to work with, and I felt they were a true partner in all of Nature Lab, and not just the solar structure. Ameresco made it easy for us to be environmentally responsible, save money, AND create an incredible learning space for our students.
– Anthony Ranii
Superintendent, Montecito Union School District
Annual Energy Offset
Annual Solar Capacity
Annual CO2 Reduction
Annual Energy Savings
The solar installation will generate enough electricity to offset the facility’s annual energy usage by 97%. In addition, the shade provided by the structure will allow students to learn comfortably and creatively in an outdoor environment while experiencing sustainability first-hand.
- 300,000 kWh annually
- Financial savings for the District
- Positive impact in education
- Hands-on STEAM learning
- Fiscal responsibility and renewable energy lessons for the future generations
Ameresco partnered with Montecito USD to bring their vision of the Nature Lab “Collaboratory” to life. Using solar PV arrays, the space was designed to provide a holistic experience for the K-6 students as they explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) activities.\
- 450+ solar panels
- Shaded learning space for climate considerations
- Renewable energy generation to enhance STEAM curriculum