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Clovis Unified School District Solar Plans. Community Outreach October 22, 2012. Clovis West Area. Bond Measure 2012. $298 Million Bond Measure passed in June 2012 80% to renovate existing facilities 20% for new facilities Solar e nergy g eneration is one of the new facilities.

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clovis unified school district solar plans

Clovis Unified School DistrictSolar Plans

Community Outreach

October 22, 2012

Clovis West Area

bond measure 2012
Bond Measure 2012
  • $298 Million Bond Measure passed in June 2012
  • 80% to renovate existing facilities
  • 20% for new facilities
      • Solar energy generation is one of the new facilities
energy pyramid
Energy Pyramid





Start with a strong base.

solar preparation and history
Solar Preparation and History
  • 2008-2010: Research conducted by facility staff
  • 2008-Present: Energy Educators program and multiple retro fitting projects to reduce energy consumption
  • August 2010: Terra Verde approved by Governing Board as solar consultant
  • Spring 2011: Solar plan presented to all board sub-committees
  • July 2011: Bond Measure Resolution approved by Governing Board:
    • “Install energy efficient heating, ventilation, lighting and renewable energy systems to dramatically reduce ongoing utility costs returning money to the classroom”
  • Winter 2011: PG&E approves District’s $4.2 Million Solar Rebate Reservation
  • September 2012: Request for Proposal conducted and Cupertino Electric, Inc. (CEI), selected for recommendation to the Governing Board.

Site Selection Criteria

  • Overall goal of design is to select sites that provide the maximum savings to energy costs throughout the district
    • Each meter size in the District was analyzed. Meters with lower annual usage have the highest cost per kilowatt hour, and so offer the best savings opportunities.
    • Next, the “avoided cost” at each meter is calculated. Avoided cost is the savings per kilowatt hour of solar production
    • All district meters were ranked according to highest value of avoided cost.
    • Installation and operating costs at each site were also taken into consideration.
    • Finally, the optimal combination of meters yielding the highest possible 25-year net savings was identified.

Timeline for Installation

Pending Board Approval of Contract

use of local contractors
Use of Local Contractors
  • Bond Measure Resolution Language
      • “To the extent legally permissible and where they best meet the needs of the district, local contractors, architects, engineers and consultants will be used to design and complete the bond measure projects.”
  • Contract language (draft) that requires district approval of sub-contractor list on this solar project
      • “The Owner reserves the right to oversee the bidding process, and in no case will the Contractor award any subcontracts until the Owner has concurred with the selection, scope, and price of the subcontracted services.”
  • It is expected that all sub-contractors will be locally owned companies
  • 91.6% of the construction costs would go to local construction companies
selection process
Selection Process
  • Request for Proposal (RFP) was advertised on the builders exchange network
  • 6 firms submitted proposals
  • 1 firm was locally owned but did not submit a complete proposal
  • Of the three firms selected for a panel interview none were locally owned but 1 had a local office
  • Panel interview was conducted by a representative group of district staff and governing board members
  • The selected firm was $2.5 million lower in total construction cost that any other firm
full language cei contract
Full Language CEI Contract
  • Further, unless the Parties otherwise agree in writing, on a trade by trade basis, Contractor shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that it receives at least three competitive quotes from subcontractors for each trade component of the Project, with at least one quote coming from a local subcontractor who maintains an office within thirty (30) miles of any Site. Contractor shall inform all bidders that the Owner will not be a party to any contracts for construction services executed by the Contractor and selected bidders. However, the Owner reserves the right to oversee the bidding process, and in no case will the Contractor award any subcontracts until the Owner has concurred with the selection, scope, and price of the subcontracted services.

Solar Panel Washing

Question: How frequently do modules need to be washed?

Answer: Frequency is site specific based on local weather (e.g., wind) and surrounding land conditions (e.g., housing versus farm).

TVRP Solar production model assumes a soiling factor

After 1 year of operation, a washing cost benefit analysis is conducted

Thereafter, monitoring and on-site evaluation drives the washing schedule

Certain sites may not benefit from annual washing; other sites may need multiple cleanings each year


Vandalism, Theft

  • Question: What is the risk of theft and vandalism and how can it be addressed?
  • Answer: The risk is also site specific and so security measures are customized given local conditions.
  • Solar facilities are no more or less vulnerable than other school/public infrastructure
  • High crime locations are more at risk
  • Shade structures are much less vulnerable than roof or ground mounted structures
  • Security measures can include fencing, alarms, surveillance, and special fastener
    • The District will incorporate coverage for solar installations in the External Video Surveillance project funded by Bond Measure proceeds.

Cost of Waiting

Question: Why not wait for solar to get cheaper?

Answer: Even if prices decline somewhat over time, the cost of foregone savings outweighs the benefit of buying later at a possible lower cost.

Solar panel prices are very near their theoretical bottom, and supply is presently very high

Labor, and business expenses continue to rise

Other materials (e.g., steel, copper) and fuel costs are rising rapidly

Cost of capital is at historic lows

Rebates are in their final allocation in CA



  • Question: Why not wait for technology to get better?
  • Answer: Even if technology gets more efficient, the cost of foregone savings outweighs the benefit of buying more efficient technology.
  • There are a range of solar panel technologies today that produce more or less per square inch (aka efficiency).
  • However, the more efficient the panel the more expensive.
  • Efforts to introduce different technologies over the past 20-30 years haven’t really improved this price/efficiency ratio.
  • The standard panel technology is at historically low prices due to economies of scale in manufacturing.
cost avoidance explained












Base Year






Cost Avoidance Explained

FY 2006/07 has been designated as the base year for cost/consumption analysis (there was no EMS program in place at this time).

Cost avoidanceis the calculated difference between what the district would have spent with no energy conservation program in place and what it actually spent for energy with the current program in place.

how to mitigate risks
How To Mitigate Risks
  • Warranties & Guaranties
  • Conservative Underwriting Assumptions
  • Comprehensive Asset Management Approach

Conservative Underwriting Assumptions

  • Year-1 Solar Production
    • Calculation includes actual site conditions using 45 years of weather measurements by NREL
    • Calculation includes full set of loss factors:
    • Initial “flash degradation”
    • Stepwise function for panel mismatch
    • Soiling
    • Shading
    • Weather (including high temperature)
    • Long wire runs
    • Allotment for system downtime (97% annual availability or >11 days at peak output)

Conservative Underwriting Assumptions

  • Production in Subsequent Years
    • We use industry “best practices” in our module degradation assumptions
    • We rely on third-party firms to support these assumptions
      • BEW Engineering – widely trusted independent engineering firm by investors
      • Mesirow Financial – widely trusted appraisal firm by investors
conservative underwriting assumptions
Conservative Underwriting Assumptions
  • Bid Specification: We specify the range of values used to calculate production

Conservative Underwriting Assumptions

  • Utility Price Escalator
    • Based on a 40-year data set, California electricity price inflation has averaged 5.4% per year
    • For the Clovis USD solar project, we are using a more conservative inflation assumption of 4%
  • Initial System Cost
    • Is based on recent pricing negotiations on recently contracted local projects
    • Price is all-inclusive
      • Installation contract price (EPC)
      • Construction contingency
      • Legal, DSA Certified Inspector of Record & Testing Lab Fees

Comprehensive Asset Management Approach

  • A comprehensive approach includes:
          • Systems Monitoring & Reporting
          • Preventative Maintenance
          • Corrective Maintenance
          • Warranty Enforcement
benefits of net metering
Benefits of Net Metering

Electricity consumption patterns can make a big difference in the appropriate scope and sizing of solar projects.

energy consumption reduction
Energy Consumption Reduction

10.8% reduction from base year 2006/07

  • By focusing on Energy Conservation, Energy Efficiency and Energy Demand the district reduced its electrical consumption by 4.8 million (kWh) kilo Watt hours (for Fiscal Year 2010/11) which is a 10.8% reduction from Base Year 2006/07 when the district first implemented its Energy Management Program
  • Total Cost Avoidance from July 2006 to February 2012 is $7,794,820
historical perspective
Historical Perspective

In the last 20 years, CUSD has opened 21 schools (including 3 educational complexes) to accommodate the 40% increase in student population (from 27,000 to over 38,000)

energy saving measures currently in place
Energy Saving Measures(currently in place)
  • Energy Education
    • We’ve changed human behavior through building audits, school site goal setting and accountability (Electronic audits make staff accountable for energy usage & energy conservation)
  • A district-wide Building Automation System (BAS) is in place to control major equipment (i.e.: we carefully control the on/off schedules & run times at all of our facilities)
  • The district has implemented numerous energy saving retro-fit projects (e.g.: pool covers, gym lighting, school modernizations)
  • The district has maximized its utility rebates (over $350K to date)
  • One of the few districts in the state which participates in Demand Response programs offered by PG&E ($80K - $90K yearly savings)
  • Energy Star benchmarking of our schools (92% of our schools qualify as Energy Star Buildings)

Warranties & Guaranties

  • Minimum requirements of California Solar Initiative
    • 10-year workmanship & installation warranty
    • 10-year equipment warranty (including inverters)
  • Additional Protections
    • 25-year PV module warranty: 90% / 10-years, 80% / 25-years
    • Extended 20-year inverter warranty
  • Insurance (costs already assumed in Pro Forma)
    • Property risk (theft, vandalism, and weather events)
        • Note: The maintenance budget in the proforma also includes costs of addressing vandalism/theft/weather
    • General liability
comprehensive asset management approach
Comprehensive Asset Management Approach

Preventative & Corrective Maintenance Services/Contract:

    • The cost of a Corrective Maintenance Services/Contract is included in the Proforma.
    • Major activities include daily monitoring and real time alarm response, and
    • Conducting the following annual inspection and preventative maintenance activities:
  • Check condition of PV modules
  • Check for connectivity and burned fuses
  • Check for hotspots and loose terminations
  • Conduct required inverter maintenance
  • Check for rust and corrosion
  • Conduct meter and weather equipment calibration
  • Tree trimming (shading prevention)