Santa Barbara School District plans to go off grid with microgrid and solar - Smart Energy Decisions

Demand Management, Microgrids, Finance, Solar  -  January 8, 2020

Santa Barbara School District plans to go off grid with microgrid and solar

The Santa Barbara Unified School District will be working toward its goal of taking itself off the grid through a new energy project that will include solar, battery storage and electric vehicle charging stations districtwide.

The school district will be partnering with Clean Coalition, a Santa Barbara-based company with microgrid experience, and Sage Energy Consulting, a San Rafael–based firm with solar infrastructure experience, who will be completing a feasibility study by June, the Santa Barbara Independent reported. If the project is determined to be feasible, the school district will be signing PPAs with the two firms to design and construct the projects, with infrastructure and systems expected to be running by 2022.

“This is a really important signal to the younger generation that we’re taking the climate crisis seriously,” board president Laura Capps told the publication. “We are making an investment in a very bold vision of how to deal with the new climate reality — their future.”

The school district will be required to cover the costs of the project. However, the $287,900 estimated fee for the first six steps of the plan will be paid from the State Facility Grant Matching funds.

The microgrids that would be installed through the project would be able to power each site for 3 to 5 days.

Under the initiative, electric car charging stations would be installed at each school in the district.

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