Petaluma, California – At last month’s Board meeting, Petaluma City Schools made the decision to move forward with deploying two new solar + battery microgrids.
The Petaluma City School District consists of 7,500 students, 860 staff members, seven elementary schools and nine secondary schools. The District is committed to providing opportunities for all students to be challenged and motivated in school so that upon graduation, they will be successful in their future educational endeavors, careers, and community. Furthermore, the District is committed to enhancing the environmental sustainability of their infrastructure and operations. In the past several years, utility power outages and wildfires in the region have threatened the District’s ability to provide access to in-person instruction and consistent education.
Recently, Petaluma’s Board of Education unanimously passed Resolution 1718-29, calling for a commitment to climate action through both education and an assessment of its own greenhouse gas footprint. Petaluma City Schools has embraced renewable energy in the past, showing early leadership in the state by installing solar PV systems at all of its school facilities, beginning in 2003.
Now the District has decided to take another step on their journey towards energy independence and embrace microgrid technology.
With the support of TerraVerde Energy, the District’s energy consultants, the District evaluated the feasibility of adding battery energy storage systems at campuses that had existing solar PV systems, to determine whether the District could increase its energy resiliency and have clean backup power available on campus during power outages. After completing the feasibility assessment, the District and TerraVerde ran a competitive procurement process to solicit proposals from qualified firms. As a result, the District has engaged Scale Microgrid Solutions to install 4.2 MWh of battery energy storage and microgrid controllers at Casa Grande High School & Petaluma Junior High School, which, when paired with the existing solar at these sites, will both reduce electricity costs and provide backup power to these campuses during power outages.
These projects will leverage funding available through California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). The savings generated by these projects will include
- avoided costs of power outages at these sites (including food spoilage costs)
- electricity bill savings from energy arbitrage (offsetting usage in the more expensive hours of the day)
- revenues from participating in grid services programs
Matthew Harris, Superintendent of Petaluma City Schools says, “We are really excited to be on the forefront of this creative and environmentally friendly method of providing backup power to our schools. With so much uncertainty and disruption over these past years, microgrid systems can provide much needed continuity for our students when there is a power disruption. This project also gives us an opportunity to put our values into action because it is aligned to one of our recently adopted District goals, which is to enhance the long-term sustainability of our organization, infrastructure, and operations.”
“TerraVerde Energy is proud & honored to continue its partnership with Petaluma City Schools,” said David Burdick, Executive Vice President of TerraVerde. “We are thrilled to be supporting the District in further expanding their energy program through these innovative energy resiliency projects.”
About Petaluma City Schools
Petaluma City Schools is a high performing school district in Sonoma County, California that serves 7,500 students in kindergarten through 12th grade in seven elementary schools and nine secondary schools.
About TerraVerde Energy
TerraVerde is a leading independent energy consulting firm that supports clients in designing and deploying energy projects and programs that reduce costs, optimize value, and increase resiliency. Over the past 12 years, TerraVerde has developed over $500 million worth of projects delivering more than $50 million in energy cost savings to clients to date. Learn more at terraverde.energy.
For more information, contact: David Burdick | Executive Vice President | TerraVerde Energy | firstname.lastname@example.org | 415.272.1014