Innovative Solar-Plus-Sharp SmartStorage Microgrids Installed in Santa Rita Union School District
SALINAS, Calif. – Generate Capital, MBL-energy, and Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group (Sharp) announced today that the solar PV plus SmartStorage® energy storage systems have been installed at six sites within the Santa Rita Union School District (SRUSD) in Salinas, California. The systems will provide up to seven hours of power at each school during a grid outage and will also offset the school’s energy and demand usage resulting in substantial savings on its utility bills. These innovative multi-campus systems will enable the schools to support the local Salinas community as Powered Emergency Response Centers in the event of disasters that cause prolonged outages.
The innovative project was envisioned by EcoMotion (an SRUSD consultant), developed by SolEd Benefit Corporation, engineered by Sharp and Black & Veatch, constructed and structurally engineered by MBL-energy, and financed by Generate Capital.
“The Santa Rita Union School District project creates a blueprint for schools, universities, hospitals, and other government and commercial facilities that need critical power availability during a grid outage, but also want to see utility bill savings during normal operations,” said Carl Mansfield, General Manager of Sharp’s U.S. based Energy Systems and Services Group. “These solar PV plus Sharp SmartStorage® systems are delivering both resilience and savings while also providing clean, renewable energy that doesn’t harm the environment.”
In total, the systems include one megawatt of solar PV that is integrated with 1.1 MWh of Sharp’s SmartStorage® behind-the-meter energy storage systems. In addition to the savings on expensive utility bills, the systems will also provide for the ability to regain power during a blackout as well as provide clean renewable energy.
The Santa Rita Union School District recently hosted a ribbon-cutting at the site facilitated by its consultant, EcoMotion. EcoMotion envisioned the project as a means of getting SRUSD the resiliency that it sought by combining batteries with ubiquitous solar power.
“California school districts face extremely challenging budgeting situations and any reduction in operational expenses can directly translate into money for teachers, books, or supplies,” said Dr. Shelly Morr, superintendent of SRUSD. “It is also important for our community that schools aren’t impacted by events such as power outages as this disrupts not just the school day, but parents having to leave work early or scramble to make other arrangements for their children. We’re excited to see these clean energy systems implemented on our school campuses.”
Generate Capital is a leading capital partner for solar-plus-storage innovators in the United States. With one of the largest behind-the-meter energy storage portfolios in North America, Generate Capital partners with project developers, technology vendors, and solution providers to build money-saving, environmentally beneficial infrastructure.
Sharp’s intelligent energy storage solution pairs with solar PV systems to work synergistically, reducing utility costs by pulling power from the SmartStorage® batteries rather than from the utility at the times of highest demand, an operation that is particularly well-suited for facilities where utility bills are often one of the highest expenses. In the case of a grid outage, Sharp’s software will then enable the transition to microgrid operation with only modest disruption to school operations. This capability helps shield the district from grid outages caused by rolling blackouts, brownouts, or severe weather events and minimizes disruptions to the school day for students, parents, and faculty.
About Generate Capital
Generate Capital, based in San Francisco, California, is a leading financier, owner and operator of distributed energy and resource infrastructure. With a permanent capital base, flexibility to meet a range of needs, and deep domain expertise in technology, energy and resource sectors, Generate partners with the innovative companies and project developers who are leading the Resource Revolution, building infrastructure that does more with less of our critical natural resources such as energy, water, food and materials. For more information on Generate Capital, please visit: www.generatecapital.com.
About Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group
Sharp Electronics Corporation (SEC) is the U.S. division of Sharp Corporation, a worldwide developer and manufacturer of one-of-a-kind premium technology products. SEC’s Energy Systems and Services Group (ESSG) focuses on developing innovative energy management products for the U.S. market. ESSG introduced the SmartStorage® behind-the-meter energy storage system, an energy storage solution designed to reduce peak demand usage for commercial and industrial buildings. Sharp’s industry-first 10-year performance guarantee is included with their 10-year operations and maintenance service agreement, an option available for all SmartStorage® system installations. Sharp’s integrated SmartStorage® solar hybrid solution is available with no money down financing options. For more information, visit: https://www.sharpsmartstorage.com.
About Santa Rita Union School District
The Santa Rita Union School District (SRUSD), located in the heart of the Salinas Valley, is composed of approximately 3405 students from Pre-School through Eighth Grade. Made up of four elementary schools and two middle schools, all located within a five mile radius, the district is characterized by rich cultural and linguistic diversity and a ‘home town’ feel. The vision and mission of the SRUSD, a dynamic educational organization, is to ensure that all students will be provided an appropriate, challenging instructional program, enabling students to become contributing members of a global community, by providing opportunities to develop academic and social skills in a nurturing environment. http://www.santaritaschools.org/
MBL-energy, based in San Jose, California, is a design-build contractor specializing in the design and construction of solar energy projects. With more than 16 years of experience, MBL has designed and constructed over 350MW of solar PV, including parking canopies, roof mount, DSA, ground mount, specialty projects, and trackers. MBL takes an innovative and efficient approach to meet the demands of all projects. With our in-house design, project management, and construction teams, we adapt to an ever-changing solar construction industry, with efficiency and precision. MBL is dedicated to early technology adoption, uncompromising quality of materials, and maximum efficiency, to bring our customers a system that is accurately scoped, structurally sound, and financially viable, in a faster time to project completion. To learn more, visit: https://www.mbl-energy.com/