California K–12 District Debuts 17.5-MW Solar Energy, Storage Portfolio

The Fresno Unified School District in Fresno, Calif., recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new 17.5-MW, district-wide solar energy and storage portfolio, according to a news release. The district partnered with ForeFront Power, a developer and asset manager of large-scale solar energy projects, to develop the project. The portfolio will save the district an estimated $40 million across its estimated 20-year lifespan, the news release reports.

The district’s solar portfolio consists of 40 different projects, including solar canopies and energy storage systems, at 31 different sites. It will generate 23.5 million kWh of clean, renewable energy to power the annual power use of 3,000 nearby homes. It will also offset more than 18,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, the equivalent of 3,600 fewer cars on the road.

“This solar energy and battery storage portfolio demonstrates our district’s dedication to building a more resilient future for our students and the communities we serve,” said Bob Nelson, FUSD Superintendent. “By upgrading our campuses with innovative, clean energy solutions, we’re unlocking new cost savings that can be redirected back into the classroom, to enhance the quality of learning for our students.”

The partnership also provides the district with access to real-time performance monitoring information, reports and visualizations of energy use and offsets, and curriculum support for the district’s STEM education programs. ForeFront Power’s smart battery storage systems can complement solar canopies to provide relief during maximum use times to avoid peak charges from the utility provider, the news release reports.

“ForeFront Power takes care of every aspect of solar energy solutions for our partner school districts like Fresno Unified,” said Nate Smith-Ide, ForeFront Power’s Senior Sales Manager. “We want to give public school districts an alternative to expensive, unpredictable energy expenditures with guaranteed performance and low costs from renewable energy solutions.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].