ForeFront Power installs 1.4-MW solar + storage system for California school district

ForeFront Power has partnered with Newark Unified School District in California to install a 1.4-MW solar energy and storage system at Newark Memorial High School and Newark Junior High School.

“Seeing this solar portfolio live and operational is like looking into the future of our District,” said Mark Triplett, Newark USD Superintendent. “Not only are we leading by example through our environmental stewardship, but the cost savings from our new solar energy and storage system will help us fund and expand new educational programs to enhance the quality of learning for all our students. Locking in rates through on-site solar and battery storage in an era of rising costs helps us better leverage taxpayer dollars to serve our students and their families.”

ForeFront Power implemented a smart battery storage system that complements the District’s solar project, kicking in during moments of maximum electricity usage to minimize the impact of peak charges from the utility. The result is electricity costs that are lower than with a solar project alone. Through its partnership with ForeFront Power, the District has access to a real-time performance monitoring platform, allowing District officials to create reports and visualize related environmental offsets and savings. The partnership also includes customizable renewable energy curriculum support that enhances the existing energy, environment, and sustainability elements of Newark USD’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education for students.

“Newark USD has taken this step to ensure that its facilities are equipped with climate resilient and cost-effective renewable energy solutions,” said Rachel McLaughlin, ForeFront Power’s VP of sales and marketing. “The project’s fixed rate will protect the District’s budget from utility rate hikes for the next two decades, and the installed, intelligent battery storage system further increases the financial savings for the District.”

Newark USD selected ForeFront Power via the Renewable Energy Aggregated Procurement (REAP) Program offered by SPURR. SPURR, a Joint Powers Authority of hundreds of public education agencies, uses competitive solicitations, aggregated buying power, and technical expertise to obtain excellent pricing and terms for utilities-related goods and services. The REAP Program allows any California public agency to obtain the best solar and energy storage pricing and terms from a competitive statewide solicitation. Over 50 California public agencies have used REAP to develop hundreds of megawatts of solar and storage projects to date.

Leveraging the REAP Program’s RFP process, Newark USD chose ForeFront Power to develop, finance, and construct its solar and energy storage portfolio. The District is expected to save nearly $6 million over the 20-year term of the PPA, with an estimated $120,000 savings in the first year alone. In addition to these substantial savings, the District is now visibly demonstrating to students and the community its commitment to clean energy.

News item from ForeFront Power

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