September 21, 2021, Santa Monica, California: Scale Microgrid Solutions To Develop Microgrids for Petaluma City Schools
The Petaluma City School district consists of 7,515 students, 860 staff members, seven elementary schools and nine secondary schools. The District is committed to enhancing the environmental sustainability of their infrastructure and operations. In the past several years, utility power outages and wildfires in the region have threatened the District’s ability to provide access to in-person instruction. Recently, Petaluma’s Board of Education unanimously passed Resolution 1718-29, calling for a commitment to climate action through both education and an assessment of its own greenhouse gas footprint.
Petaluma City Schools has embraced renewable energy in the past, showing early leadership in the state by installing solar PV systems at all of its school facilities beginning in 2003. Now the District has decided to take another step on their journey towards energy independence and embrace microgrid technology.
The microgrids will include 4.2 MWh of a battery energy storage, a microgrid controller, and 831kW of existing solar PV. Scale will utilize state-of-the-art lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, which are attractive because they’re not dependent on scarce and controversial raw materials like cobalt and nickel.
In the past, school districts have had to choose between economics, sustainability, and resiliency. Most school microgrid systems powered by renewable energy today are designed to power only a small fraction of the total loads in order to remain cost effective. These will be the first school microgrids in California that is designed to provide multiple days of backup power for the entire campus with only solar and battery energy storage, while still providing attractive lifetime savings to the District when compared with rising utility electricity rates.
Tim Hade, Co-Founder and COO of Scale Microgrid Solutions says, “With climate change exacerbating the wildfire situation in California, resulting in widespread power outages, it is a critical time for schools to prepare themselves for outages and to hedge against electricity rate increases. We’re aiming to deploy microgrids in California at record speed in order to provide our partners with cleaner, cheaper and more reliable power.”
Matthew Harris, Superintendent of Petaluma City Schools says, “We are really excited to be on the forefront of this creative and environmentally friendly method of providing backup power to our schools. With so much uncertainty and disruption over these past years, microgrid systems can provide much needed continuity for our students when there is a power disruption. This project also gives us an opportunity to put our values into action because it is aligned to one of our recently adopted District goals, which is to enhance the long-term sustainability of our organization, infrastructure, and operations.”
Scale and Petaluma are partnering with TerraVerde Energy for this project.
“TerraVerde Energy is proud & honored to continue its partnership with Petaluma City Schools,” said David Burdick, Executive Vice President of TerraVerde. “We are thrilled to be supporting the District in further expanding their energy program through these innovative energy resiliency projects.”
About Scale Microgrid Solutions: Scale is a vertically integrated distributed energy platform, with a core focus of designing, building, financing, owning and operating cutting-edge distributed energy assets that offer cheaper, cleaner, and more resilient power. Their team of energy and financing experts accelerate growth in distributed energy projects by providing financing to technology providers, energy developers, and OEMs, while also directly helping large energy-consuming customers to take charge of their energy infrastructure and future-proof their businesses.
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