From Signing to Completion in Under a Year: Stockton Unified and ForeFront Power Bring 1.8 MW of Added Solar Capacity to San Joaquin Valley

/EIN News/ — Stockton, California, May 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tomorrow Stockton Unified School District unveils the completion of their latest round of solar projects with ForeFront Power, a leading renewable energy provider for schools in California. The District, located in sunny San Joaquin Valley, has added solar parking canopies to 10 more campuses, bringing their new total to 32 sites. The 10 new solar projects, totaling 1.8 MW, are expected to produce approximately 2.68 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean electricity annually for the district. The District is offsetting 83 percent of their annual energy consumption and is expected to save over 38,000 1 metric tons of carbon emissions over the 20 years.

According to District Superintendent, Dr. John Deasy, “Stockton Unified is proud to announce we have taken another step closer towards energy independence. We are modeling the importance of saving our planet for our future generations of SUSD scholars.”

 

Conserving Energy and Budget

Stockton Unified is no stranger to sustainability, having pursued lighting efficiency and solar projects over the last decade. Having now completed their second round of solar installations, and the first with ForeFront Power, the addition is part of the District’s ongoing initiatives around energy conservation. The District recognizes the value that solar provides in hedging against unpredictable, potentially volatile energy rates in California due to changes in Time of Use (TOU) periods and Net Energy Metering (NEM) rates.

According to Steve Breakfield, Director of Facilities and Planning at Stockton USD, “We looked to do solar to be more efficient with both our energy usage and sustainability practices. We also wanted to cut down on costs and be more mindful of our budget, which comes from taxpayer dollars. We aim to be as prudent as possible in how we spend, and the addition of solar helps us make sure we don’t have to overpay for our energy.”

Thanks to the financing framework provided by Forefront Power, Stockton will be paying a flat rate for their solar electricity. Under the 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with ForeFront Power, the district is expected to save an estimated $2.6M in electricity costs over the term. For public entities such as school districts, having fixed electricity rates helps administrators manage limited budges more effectively and allocate funds to areas that need it most.

 

Swiftness of the Process

This decision to go solar a second time around was an easy one. Having previously installed 7.3 MW of capacity at 22 other schools in the District, the decision to go solar again was natural – just a matter of allocating both time and resources to move forward. The challenge for these new projects was that Stockton was seeking a different solar provider to add additional capacity and in a much shorter time frame.

ForeFront Power’s development team, which has more than a decade of experience and has developed over 200 MW of renewable energy projects in California, was able to help Stockton realize these additional opportunities for solar. According to Breakfield, “It was a good process figuring out what would work. Everything went much more smoothly compared to the last time [we deployed solar with another company]. ForeFront Power evaluated the rest of the sites, walked them with us, listened to our requirements, and were realistic about what they could accomplish. If some sites pencil in the future, we will definitely do it again.”

As a testament to the swiftness of the process, Breakfield added, “ForeFront Power took this large portfolio of projects from signing to completed installations in well under a year. The experience of their team was evident throughout the entire process.”

With over half of their schools now on solar power, Stockton doesn’t plan to slow down. Plans for more solar are extending beyond school campuses, wherein the future, Stockton Unified looks to add more solar and are evaluating additional sites.

“Our team is honored to partner with Stockton USD on their next phase of solar installations,” says Go Mizoguchi, Co-CEO of ForeFront Power. “Not only will the community benefit from having more renewable energy, but our projects will also provide an on-site learning opportunity for students.”

 

Energy Education for Future Generations

For students and faculty across Stockton USD’s 32 solar-powered campuses, the learning opportunities with solar extend beyond the canopied parking lots and playgrounds and into the classrooms. The District will receive solar monitoring dashboards displaying live production data which can be accessed by students and teachers in real time. In addition, ForeFront Power will make educational classroom visits and provide the District with free lesson plans that integrate the tangible experience of solar energy into the existing STEM curriculum.

For more information about ForeFront Power and solar energy for schools, visit k12.forefrontpower.com.

 

About Stockton Unified School District

Stockton Unified School District (SUSD) began providing services to students in 1852 and is located in the heart of California’s Central Valley near the banks of the San Joaquin River. SUSD is the 17th largest school district in California, whereby 38,000 PK-12th grade students come to us to experience an academic journey that leads to high school graduation and success in college, careers, and as actively-engaged community members. The District also serves a number of adults through our Stockton School For Adults. SUSD is made up of thirty-seven Head Start classes, fifty-three state preschool classes, three First 5 preschool classes, forty-one K-8 schools, four comprehensive high schools, three small high schools, an alternative high school, a special education school, a school for adults, and five dependent charter schools.  Our district mission is to graduate every single youth college, career, and community ready.  Stockton Unified School District is dedicated to providing high-quality first instruction, rigorous curriculum, and supporting academic achievement and social-emotional development supported by Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).  The District’s work is guided by three goals:

·         Every child by the end of third grade will read and comprehend at the proficient level.

·         Every child will have access to high quality, rigorous first instruction.

·         Every child, by the end of 12th grade, will graduate and be college, career, and community ready.

About ForeFront Power

ForeFront Power is a leading provider of solar energy and battery storage solutions for the public sector, utility, business, and residential customers across the United States and Mexico. Our team has delivered over 800 MW of wholesale, virtual, and behind-the-meter projects during the past decade. ForeFront Power’s proven development expertise, off-balance sheet financing, and best in class asset management enables us to provide our customers with the highest quality solar and storage products, helping to reduce expenses and achieve sustainability targets with clean, affordable energy. Headquartered in San Francisco, ForeFront Power has offices in New York and Mexico City.

 

From Signing to Completion in Under a Year: Stockton Unified and ForeFront Power Bring 1.8 MW of Added Solar Capacity to San Joaquin Valley, Press Release, Globe Newswire, May 23, 2019.

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