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Schools: Solar in California; Online Energy Procurement in Texas

April 12, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Solar energy project developer Enfinity America completed a portfolio of solar photovoltaic installations across ten sites for the Greenfield Union School District (GUSD) in Bakersfield, Calif. All the installations went into commercial operation in mid-December 2012. Total system size is 1,987 kW, with its first-year energy output projected to be 3.1 million kWh. The installations use 7,868 PV panels manufactured by BenQ Solar, which is also providing flat screen monitors to the school district for displaying system performance data, as part of a curriculum enrichment program.

The project comprises a mix of ground-mount, rooftop, carport and shade trellis panel installations. Enfinity developed and financed the solar portfolio and will own and operate the systems under a 20-year power purchase agreement with the district. Intermountain Electric provided engineering, procurement and construction services. The district can use the energy produced to offset its utility costs – without incurring capital expenditure or a tax consequence to its communities.

World Energy Solutions has helped Abilene Independent School District in Texas procure over 62 million kWh of electricity. Through a series of online auctions run on the World Energy Exchange, the district was able to test market prices for various electricity terms and products. In all, the competitive event attracted 12 suppliers, who over the course of one hour submitted more than 120 bids for the school district’ business. The auctions resulted in a new 36-month electricity contract that is expected to save the school district more than $1.4 million. Delivery under the new contract terms begins in June 2014.

The Abilene Independent School District is also saving money with an energy conservation management program.


2 comments on “Schools: Solar in California; Online Energy Procurement in Texas

  1. The on-line electric purchase sounds very techie BUT as we all have found. What is the viability of that lower cost firm being there is 6 -months, or 12-months – not good! I will put the money difference in from convential that the supplier will be be out of business in 30-months or less OR flip the contract to another party. Also where do you go to if you have a problem? 1-800- Australia? I wish them sincere luck but a school needs to control a fixed annual budget and a reliable supplier.

  2. It’s surprising that the commenter of April 12th assumes that only a fly-by-night company would submit a low bid to win a sizable electricity load from a desirable customer, but then again they must not be familiar with how World Energy Solutions operates and the company it keeps.

    For starters, let’s clear something up. The winning bidder in the Abilene ISD auction is a reputable company (with a phone number in the U.S., thank you), but that misses the larger point. World Energy Solutions, the company that brokered this transaction, has been helping customers get great prices from the market for over 10 years. We’ve conducted over 40,000 pricing events and transacted over $40 billion in energy commodities for some of the biggest brand names in the U.S., as well as for a host of Federal, State and Local government entities, including many schools and universities. Our track record in energy procurement is second to none. We have 5,000 satisfied customers, something that doesn’t happen when you cut corners on service, value and reliability.

    The commenter is right, however, in suggesting that energy can be a dirty game. To address this we arm customers with information and give them a competitive advantage when procuring energy. We have hundreds of suppliers on our leading exchange, and we vet every one of them. Our process is not “self-serve,” we have a deep team of energy experts that work closely with our customers to help them understand their opportunities, go to market, structure the auctions and make them a success, and choose the supplier, product and terms that are right for them. The fact that we use technology to drive cost and inefficiency out of the process isn’t just “techie,” it’s sound business.

    Schools that need to control a fixed annual budget and find a reliable energy supplier are well served by the people, process and technology that differentiate World Energy Solutions. If you’d like to see for yourself, contact us at 1-800-578-0718 or visit us at http://www.worldenergy.com.

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