TerraVerde Renewable Partners Helps School Districts Reduce Energy Costs

Fowler Unified, Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified and Golden Valley Unified School Districts Projected to Save More Than $32 Million with New Solar Energy Projects

Aug 29, 2012, 11:00 ET from TerraVerde Renewable Partners

LARKSPUR, Calif., Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TerraVerde Renewable Partners, an independent energy advisor that helps schools, public agencies and private companies reduce energy costs, today announced that three of its large Central Valley school district clients, Fowler Unified School District (USD), Firebaugh-Las Deltas USD, and Golden Valley USD, have completed solar projects across 16 of their campuses.  The new solar energy sites are projected to save the school districts more than $32 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years.

"Solar energy projects for public schools are essentially revenue enhancements for school districts which directly benefit students and taxpayers," said Eric Cederquist, Superintendent, Fowler USD.  "We turned to TerraVerde for help because they were able to look into the feasibility of doing a solar project at no up-front cost to us. There was no financial risk to the district and they have refined a process specifically to meet the needs of public schools."

Fowler USD implemented a 0.84 megawatt (MW) solar project across six campuses. The project is designed to save more than $435,000 in the first year and more than $13 million over 25 years.  Fowler is also the district in which Governor Jerry Brown chose to sign Senate Bill 585 (Kehoe) in 2011.  This legislation restored funding to the very successful California Solar Initiative Rebate Program, allowing these districts to implement their solar projects.  Firebaugh-Las Deltas USD developed a 0.91 MW system across three sites.  This system is designed to save more than $195,000 in the first year and more than $9 million over 25 years.  Golden Valley USD built a 1.11 MW system across seven campuses that is projected to save more than $42,000 in the first year and $9.9 million over 25 years. The differences in annual and long-term savings are the result of different financing strategies available to each of the districts.

All three school districts engaged TerraVerde's energy advisory services to ensure that they received competitive pricing on high-quality solar systems designed to address their individual goals. Through its unique approach, TerraVerde helped each school district: understand, control and reduce energy costs; explore all options for energy cost reduction; minimize financial risk; and conserve staff resources. 

"We wanted to explore ways to reduce our energy costs, but our district lacked the internal resources and expertise to investigate a solar project," said Andy Alvarado, Superintendent, Golden Valley USD. "TerraVerde acted as the overall project manager and represented the district throughout all aspects of the project, enabling us to focus our staff on the business of running the district."

"TerraVerde is independent from a parent installation company, supplier, or project finance source," said Russell Freitas, Superintendent, Firebaugh-Las Deltas USD.  "This was important to us because we wanted to avoid the pitfall of engaging in a specialized construction project without an objective third party providing guidance and oversight. TerraVerde served as our advocate and advisor in every stage of the process and helped us secure project funding and the best installation price."

Moving forward, TerraVerde's asset management services will help each district maintain long-term control of their investment, and ensure projected savings over the life of their solar systems. For example, under TerraVerde's management, Petaluma City Schools realized $239,000 in budget savings during its solar project's first year of operation, 7.9% above initial projections.

"These forward-looking school districts have begun a new era in which their energy cost reductions start today, and are locked at levels well below utility rates for over 25 years," said Rick Brown, PhD, President, TerraVerde.  "The savings are so significant that in the first year alone, teaching jobs and student programs can be saved, having a very real and immediate impact on the quality of education and the enrichment of the students' experience."

About TerraVerde Renewable Partners
TerraVerde Renewable Partners, headquartered in Larkspur, California, is an independent energy advisor that helps schools, public agencies and private companies reduce energy costs.  TerraVerde has implemented 19 energy cost reduction projects with a total cost savings estimated at more than $40 million over the first 25 years of the systems and has an additional 70 project sites under development with projected cost savings of more than an additional $110 million.  As an independent and objective third party, TerraVerde evaluates the feasibility of energy cost reduction projects at no cost to the client.  On behalf of its clients, TerraVerde creates and manages a competitive bid process to secure qualified providers of installation and financing services, oversees implementation of the project, and provides ongoing asset management and performance reporting services to ensure that energy cost savings goals are achieved. For more information, please visit: www.tvrpllc.com.

Rick Brown
TerraVerde Renewable Partners
phone: (707) 953-2885

SOURCE TerraVerde Renewable Partners