Solar Savings for Fairfax School District and Interview with Superintendent Michael Coleman

September 10, 2018

Our team at ForeFront Power started working with Superintendent Michael Coleman at Fairfax School District in 2015 to create a renewable energy project to meet the needs across two locations, Zephyr Lane Elementary School and Shirley Lane Elementary School.  Given the availability of space at Zephyr Lane and the close proximity to the Shirley Lane campus across South Fairfax Road, our engineers were able to develop a single project solution to serve both locations.

The result was a 375 kilowatt (kW) ground mounted project that produces over 750,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy annually for the District. The system utilizes an innovative tracking mechanism by NEXTracker to follow the sun as it moves across the sky each day.

Fairfax School District utilized an innovative purchasing framework through School Project for Utility Rate Reduction (SPURR) that allows public agencies in California to “piggy-back” a competitive Request for Proposal process for solar energy. SPURR’s program mitigates many challenges of public procurement, like consultant fees and long contract negotiations. 

Significant Savings for the District

ForeFront Power's team of analysts recently revisited the Fairfax project to evaluate the actual savings impact for the District. According to the first year of production, we estimate that the District has saved over $85,000 on their electricity costs. Prior to solar energy adoption, electricity expenses at the two locations totaled $155,595 annually. This utility payment is now reduced to $666 while a solar Power Purchase Agreement payment of $69,812 is added to total $70,478 of electricity expenses. The chart below highlights this information.

First Year Savings for Fairfax School District



In the following video, Superintendent of Fairfax School District, Michael Coleman, explains the District's motivations for procuring solar, the ground mounted solution that they chose, and how it is integrated into STEM and the community.




Want to learn more?

Our team of energy analysts, project financing innovators, engineers and solar experts are ready to work with you to deliver a site-by-site road map of deployment for the future. Follow the link below to more information about our solutions for schools districts like yours.

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Topics: california, case studies