FRESNO, CALIFORNIA – July 26, 2018 – ForeFront Power and Fresno Unified School District (“Fresno USD”) are thrilled to announce the groundbreaking of 8.2 megawatts (MW) of solar parking canopy systems across 8 District facilities. The portfolio of projects, which includes intelligent energy storage solutions provided by Stem Inc., is expected to save Fresno USD over $27 million over 20 years.
Fresno USD partnered with ForeFront Power after a rigorously competitive solicitation. In Fall 2017, School Project for Utility Rate Reduction (SPURR) and Fresno USD conducted a statewide request for proposal process to select the best solar and energy storage provider. The comprehensive procurement process through SPURR enabled the District to save considerable time, money, and resources in their procurement process.
“By partnering with ForeFront Power, we were able to procure solar and storage for each of our comprehensive high schools and the District’s Service Center at no cost to taxpayers,” said Karin Temple, Chief Operations Officer for Fresno USD. “ForeFront Power understood the District’s desire for summer construction and accelerated the development of our projects to help minimize the impact to school activities.”
ForeFront Power is the exclusive winner of SPURR’s Renewable Energy Aggregated Procurement (REAP) Program for solar and energy storage. Since 2015, the SPURR REAP program has been used by 20 school districts and municipalities to procure more than 50 MW of clean solar power across more than 100 sites.
“SPURR helped Fresno USD foster a more competitive environment than we could have done locally in Fresno,” said Jason Duke, Executive Director of Maintenance and Operations for Fresno USD. “Now other public agencies can piggy-back the process to save time and energy.”
The SPURR REAP Program solves traditional sourcing 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 Fresno USD. 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 team is excited to construct even more projects in the greater Fresno area by partnering with Fresno USD,” said Co-CEO, Paul Walker. “These projects are especially innovative because of the combination of solar and energy storage to provide even more savings.”
ForeFront Power is using Stem’s artificial intelligence-driven energy storage solutions to provide energy storage across the District. Stem’s energy storage services provide real-time energy optimization to reduce costly demand charges, which can account for almost half of the District’s utility bills. The intelligent use of energy from the storage units combined with on-site solar energy generation helps each high school maximize its clean energy generation and enhance on-site sustainability.
Fresno USD will also bring solar learning into the classroom with science and technology education 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.
Construction of the solar canopy systems is underway at Bullard, Fresno, Roosevelt, and McLane High Schools with the remaining four sites (Edison, Hoover, and Sunnyside High Schools and Service Center) breaking ground in the coming weeks. These 8 solar projects are expected to offset the equivalent of 10,633 tons of carbon dioxide avoidance annually or 2,000 cars taken off the road for the first year of production.
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 Fresno USD
Fresno Unified School District serves more than 74,000 students, from preschool through grade 12, preparing career ready graduates through high-quality instruction, district programs and services, and resources.
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.
About Stem, Inc.
Stem creates innovative technology services that transform the way energy is distributed and consumed. AthenaTM by Stem is the first AI for energy storage and virtual power plants. It optimizes the timing of energy use and facilitates consumers’ participation in energy markets, yielding economic and societal benefits while decarbonizing the grid. The company’s mission is to build and operate the smartest and largest digitally-connected energy storage network for our customers. Headquartered in Millbrae, California, Stem is directly funded by a consortium of leading investors including Activate Capital, Angeleno Group, BNP Paribas, Constellation Technology Ventures, Iberdrola (Inversiones Financieras Perseo), GE Ventures, Magnesium Capital, Mithril Capital Management, Mitsui & Co. LTD., Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, RWE Supply & Trading, Temasek, and Total Energy Ventures. Visit www.stem.com for more information.