EnSync Energy Systems, a developer of distributed energy resources (DER), says it has officially marked its entry into the California marketplace by signing a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the State of California. The project, on which EnSync Energy has partnered with Solar Energy Fields, will be a 500 kW solar installation at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) training facility in Ione.
Under the multi-party agreement, EnSync Energy will build a solar canopy over the parking lot of the academy’s new dormitory. The academy is used to train team leaders for California firefighting groups. The canopy will keep parked cars cool and reduce the heat island effect, while generating clean energy for the facility.
According to EnSync Energy, this solar project is the result of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2012 executive order (B-18-12) mandating green building standards, as well as advancements in energy technologies that continue to make renewable power more accessible. In California and other states with rigorous environmental standards, both policy and technology have facilitated the increased use of distributed energy, which is often renewable and potentially lowers costs, adds EnSync Energy.
“This is an important milestone for EnSync Energy as we expand the success of our DER model into the state of California. We are delighted to work with CAL FIRE on our first large project in the state and support CAL FIRE’s mission to protect the public safety of Californians,” says Brad Hansen, CEO and president of EnSync Energy.
He adds, “EnSync Energy has taken the clear leadership position in the DER market for commercial customers and microgrids in other states like Hawaii precisely because we bring the entire solution. We look to California to be a major contributor to company growth, and this project marks the start of an exciting opportunity pipeline there that will help the state effectively achieve its clean energy goals.”
EnSync Energy’ says the new CAL FIRE project demonstrates the company’s successful expansion into the California market, which started with the opening of its North America sales office in Petaluma, Calif., one year ago.
The company is partnering on the CAL FIRE construction with Solar Energy Fields through a contract with the California Department of General Services to develop a renewable energy project at the Ione facility.
“Solar Energy Fields is proud to be part of California’s green building strategy and transition to clean energy,” says Ned Araujo, CEO and president of Solar Energy Fields. “Working with EnSync Energy, we will build a solar power system that will bring both environmental and cost benefits to the state.”
To develop a high-value PPA, EnSync Energy claims it evaluated the anticipated energy needs on the academy campus and found that a photovoltaic installation consolidated onto a canopy – rather than decentralized installations on individual building roofs – would both reduce installation costs and maximize solar energy output.
According to EnSync Energy, the academy’s new dorm construction comes as the number of wildfires handled by the state agency rose by more than 20% in the first half of 2017 compared to 2016. Project construction is estimated for completion in spring 2018.