CEI installed an 18-site, 2.23 megawatt (MW) Design/Build solar and associated 270 kilowatt (kW) energy storage project for Tulare City Schools—one of the largest school-based solar installations in California at the time of construction. This project was the first energy storage project to be pushed through the Division of State Architects (DSA) for customer TerraVerde Renewable Partners.
CEI partnered with Design/Build technology vendor Green Charge Networks on the energy storage portion of the project. Green Charge designed the energy storage system, wrote the algorithm driving the system’s intelligence and monitors energy production. The energy storage system helps Tulare City Schools save money by intelligently discharging the energy stored in the system when utility rates are at their highest, allowing the district to avoid peak rate charges and pay less for the energy they use.
The Tulare City Schools combined solar and energy storage project was funded using a sophisticated financial package. A combination of Prop 39 funds and an interest-free loan associated with a Calif. Energy Commission energy storage initiative helped fund the project. The district originally asked project bidders to look at 15 potential locations to install energy storage systems, but the limited dollars allotted for energy storage meant Cupertino Electric had to get creative with its recommendation. The energy storage system covers four sites within the district that were the most feasible, offered the best results and were within budget. The resulting 270 kW energy storage system is installed alongside the 2.23 MW solar system completed in 2015.