BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA – March 13, 2018 – ForeFront Power and Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) are pleased to announce an expanded solar energy partnership that will see 2.3 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic capacity installed across 10 schools. This latest deal builds upon an existing 1.7 MW of capacity across five BCSD schools installed in 2017, and this expansion will save the District approximately $4 million over 20 years.
BCSD utilized an innovative purchasing framework through the School Project for Utility Rate Reduction (SPURR) that allows public agencies in California to “piggy-back” a competitive Request for Proposal process for solar energy. SPURR’s program mitigates many challenges of public procurement, like consultant fees and long contract negotiations.
The SPURR Renewable Energy Aggregated Procurement (REAP) Program solves these issues through aggregated, competitive procurements, taking advantage of SPURR’s large market presence, and resulting in pre-negotiated contracts, industry-leading pricing, and standardized terms for public agencies in California like BCSD. This program allows schools, colleges, and other agencies to benefit from clean energy sooner with less sourcing expense and effort, while leveraging a highly competitive procurement process.
“Our staff appreciates the size and purchasing power that SPURR leveraged in their RFP process to offer deals that are attractive and keep the price down,” said Steve McClain, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services at BCSD. “ForeFront Power’s team has also been fantastic by running in overdrive to ensure that paperwork and documentation were completed on time for utility deadlines.”
ForeFront Power’s development team is the only solar and energy storage developer to win SPURR’s REAP Program. Since 2015, the SPURR REAP program and the ForeFront Power team have helped school districts procure more than 40 MW of clean solar power across more than 60 sites.
“ForeFront Power is excited to continue our partnership with Bakersfield City School District to maximize energy savings,” said Chief Executive Officer, Rafael Dobrzynski. “BCSD has a goal to increase energy sustainability and we are thrilled to continue supporting them in this effort.”
“The SPURR program saves considerable time, effort, and money for our program participants, both in the procurement process and in the goods and services obtained. And we provide clear, fair, competitively-sourced terms and conditions that can be reviewed and understood at the start of an organization's investigation of solar or energy storage,” said Michael Rochman, Managing Director of SPURR.
The SPURR REAP Program offers a more competitive procurement process than a single-customer procurement by leveraging the buying power of more than 240 member districts as well as SPURR’s cooperating agency, Fresno Unified School District, the 4th largest school district in California. The entire process is completely transparent and available to any public agency in California.
This 2.3 MW expansion across 10 sites marks the second time that BCSD has leveraged SPURR to procure solar energy with the ForeFront Power team. The additional solar energy capacity will result in approximately $4 million in savings for the District and the equivalent of over 120 million pounds of carbon emissions removed from the grid according to the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. ForeFront Power will manage all aspects of project development, including financing via a Power Purchase Agreement that requires no upfront cost or bonds on the part of BCSD.
BCSD’s decision to adopt solar through SPURR and ForeFront Power also included free energy lesson plans from Schools Power, a leading national education organization that provides school districts with standards-based renewable energy curriculum packages. ForeFront Power and Schools Power announced their partnership in July of last year.
“We have a direct focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education for our students,” said Steve McClain. “Our teachers don’t have to go on a field trip to integrate math, science, and other lessons with renewable energy right here on our campuses.”
For more information about ForeFront Power and solar energy for schools, visit k12.forefrontpower.com.
About ForeFront Power
The ForeFront Power team has more than a decade of renewable industry experience, serving business, public sector, and wholesale power customers around the world. Our team has developed over 800 MW of capacity across more than 1,000 projects, targeted on assisting public sector agencies and C&I firms to deliver the most impactful behind-the-meter, off-site, and wholesale solutions. ForeFront Power is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., a global energy infrastructure and investment leader.
About Bakersfield City School District
Bakersfield City School District, established in 1882, is the largest elementary school district in California, serving over 30,000 students and encompassing approximately 158 square miles. The District is located approximately 100 miles north of Los Angeles in Bakersfield, the 9th largest city in California in a community known for its agriculture and oil industries. The District operates 33 elementary schools, 9 middle and junior high schools, and 2 alternative sites for Special Education. Our students are served by over 3,500 certificated and classified employees. The unduplicated percentage of the District's students that are low-income (based on Free and Reduced Meal Program eligibility), English Learners and Foster Youth is 89.88%.
SPURR is a Joint-Powers Authority duly formed and existing under the California Joint Exercise of Powers Act. SPURR was formed to seek reduction and control of utility rates on behalf of its members and other program participants. SPURR membership is open to all California public K-12 school districts, county offices of education, and community college districts. SPURR is governed by a Board of Directors who are management-level employees of member organizations. SPURR, with over 240 member organizations, aggregates purchasing power and expertise for thousands of public agency facilities across the state of California. SPURR programs include procurement of solar and energy storage, natural gas, electricity, LED lights and controls, utilities data management and conservation services, electricity demand response, and telecommunications and networking goods and services.
Forward Looking Statements
Matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate", "estimate", "expect" and similar expressions identify such forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ from those contemplated, expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein. These forward-looking statements are based largely on the expectations of the Company and are subject to various risks and uncertainties.