On its way to becoming carbon neutral The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) announced that it’s signed a deal to save it $6 million in energy costs while adding a 2 megawatt solar array and a 1.2 MW hour (MWh) energy storage system. Showing that once again going green, saves green.
The university will install the 2 MW solar parking canopy and the energy storage system as part of its goal of installing 4 MWs of solar power on campus. Other universities in California, like the Long Beach campus of the California State University (CSU) system has a 4.8 MW solar carport system installed.
The energy storage part of the project will help the university maximize the value of the energy it produces on campus by reducing its peak demand and shifting its grid demand to times of day when electricity is cheaper.
“The inclusion of energy storage increases the value of the on-site solar project to the university,” explained Go Mizoguchi, Co-CEO of ForeFront Power, whose company will own and operate the system. “The University is able to save even more money while incurring no upfront cost.”
The system will be developed by ForeFront and will provide energy to the school through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). Over the period of the contract it’s expected that the system will save the university $6 million compared electricity from the electric grid. The agreement was made possible through a streamlined procurement process via School Project for Utility Rate Reduction (SPURR).
“We considered a number of options and the partnership for this project was determined to be the most expedient and the best and the cleanest solution,” said Traci Ferdolage, Associate Vice Chancellor of UCSC. “ForeFront Power and SPURR have been very responsive and supportive of the University’s renewable goals.”
The SPURR was created under the California Joint Exercise of Powers Act to seek reduction and control of utility rates to help California public K-12 school districts, county offices of education, and community college districts reduce their electric rates. The program’s Renewable Energy Aggregated Procurement (REAP) program and the ForeFront Power team have helped over 20 school districts, colleges, and municipalities add in more than 50 MWs of solar power across more than 100 sites since launching in 2015.
“It is exciting to see our program extended to the UC System at Santa Cruz so that more public organizations can benefit from the saved time, effort, and money by using our procurement process,” said Michael Rochman, Managing Director of SPURR. “SPURR strives to offer clear, fair, and competitively-sourced terms and conditions that allow for easy sourcing.”
Other universities in California are adding in significant amounts of renewable energy as well. The University of California system gets 80 megawatts (MWs) of solar power from the Five Points Solar Park, which is supplying more than 14 percent of the entire university system’s electric needs. It also had about 55 megawatts of solar online across its campuses—including UCSC’s campus. Similarly, the CSU system has announced that it plans to be climate neutral by 2030.Tweet