ForeFront Power and Mooseheart Child City and School announced that the residential childcare and education community will install 2.8 MW of solar photovoltaic capacity at their campus. The ground-mounted project is expected to save the campus $2.6 million over 20 years while offsetting 114 million pounds of carbon emissions.
Funded by the Moose Fraternity, Mooseheart contracted with Progressive Energy Group of Aurora, Illinois, to perform a thorough analysis of energy efficiency and on-site energy solutions to reduce overall energy expense without burdening its operating budget and the support of its parent organization.
ForeFront Power’s solar energy solution for Mooseheart allows the school to install a ground-mounted solar array without any upfront cost. Under this PPA model, ForeFront Power will design, permit, finance, install, and maintain the solar energy project for a 20-year term. In return, Mooseheart simply pays for the electricity generated by the system at a predictable rate.
“We found the right opportunity with ForeFront Power,” said executive director of Mooseheart Child City & School, Gary Urwiler. “We could not have afforded solar without the current policies in Illinois and the PPA model with no upfront cost. Mooseheart invested $11.4 million into school renovations back in 2013, so we wanted to do something out of the ordinary to impact our energy budget.”
Students at Mooseheart will see firsthand how the solar project works and how its energy production impacts the various facilities around the campus. ForeFront Power will install a kiosk with system monitoring as well as implement free energy lesson plans from Schools Power, a leading national education organization that provides school districts with standards-based renewable energy curriculum packages.
“Mooseheart is a unique environment for education because the students actually reside on campus,” said Charlie Sohm, chief development officer at ForeFront Power. “We are excited that students will be truly integrated with the adoption of on-site renewable energy while they live and learn on campus.”
Mooseheart selected ForeFront Power through a Request for Proposal process that was conducted by Progressive Energy Group.
“When our staff met to review the project, it was a no-brainer for us,” said Gary Urwiler. “Why wouldn’t we take advantage of this? If it goes well, who knows what we do next. The future is bright at Mooseheart.”
The solar project will be constructed upon formal certification to receive Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) made possible by the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016. It is expected to produce 3.6 million kWh of electricity during the first year of operation, the equivalent to nearly 6 million pounds of carbon emissions removed from the grid according to the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.
For more information about ForeFront Power and solar energy for schools, visit k12.forefrontpower.com.
News item from ForeFront Power