EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Paso Independent School District received an $800,000 grant to advance clean energy initiatives from the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) Governmental Alternative Fuel Fleet (GAFF) Grant Program, the school district announced on Tuesday, Oct. 3.

El Paso ISD says the grant will help expand its fleet of eco-friendly vehicles and get closer to its goal of promoting environmental responsibility.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant, which will propel our efforts to create a more sustainable future for our students and our community,” said Oscar Anchondo, El Paso ISD director of transportation. “This funding represents a significant step forward in our mission to minimize our carbon footprint and enhance the overall environmental quality of our district.” 

El Paso ISD says it was the sole district in the region to secure funding from the Texas Volkswagen Clean Air initiative in 2019, which enabled the transition of its bus fleet from diesel to primarily clean natural gas.

El Paso ISD also says it’s actively pursuing a grant to upgrade HVAC systems and implement solar panel installations at two South Side campuses.

The district says it has also allocated $59 million in ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funding to revamp HVAC systems districtwide, making them energy-efficient while simultaneously enhancing indoor air quality and circulation.