The Redwood City School District’s goals were to reduce operating costs and implement sustainable operating practices. The District developed an energy development strategy with Sage Renewables energy consultants and obtained Proposition 39 funding through the state of California to help fund the project. The usual benefits for renewable energy generation were identified, as well as a need for energy resiliency to back up the District servers in the event of grid outages. While the traditional solution would be to utilize diesel generators to back up the grid power, the District sought for a more sustainable solution.
The District identified three school sites to host solar PV installations, along with their District Offices to house solar PV and a battery storage microgrid. Through a competitive RFP process, the District selected REC Solar, a Duke Energy Renewables company, as their energy solutions provider. REC Solar’s unique capabilities and experience with microgrids, in addition to their robust experience with PV for K-12 schools, made them an ideal provider. The implemented solution includes a variety of mounting methods including carports, playground shade structures, fixed tilt ground mount on a hill slope, and roof mount racking. The microgrid system includes Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Microgrid control system and smart switchgear for load control. The microgrid’s anchor resource is a 125kW/250kWh battery storage system that will back up the District’s servers during a grid outage, but also provides cost savings through demand reduction and energy arbitrage during normal grid operation.