California’s Solano County and renewable energy services provider, ENGIE North America, have broken ground on a $41 million new energy infrastructure upgrade program as part of a comprehensive sustainability alliance. The new energy infrastructure includes four sustainable microgrids with 3.4 MW of solar and 1.9 MWh of storage battery energy with microgrid controls. It also includes emergency generators, LED lighting retrofits across the county, essential HVAC equipment and 54 Level-2 electric vehicle (EV), charging ports at six locations.
“The county pays nearly three million a year in utility costs,” says Megan Greve, director of general services for the county. “That is for the entire county and not just the project sites. This program with ENGIE will offset about $2 million of that.”
Over the next 20 years, the county will see a reduction of more than $60,000,000 in its utility bills. These energy cost savings will be used to pay for the majority new and upgraded power infrastructure. The energy generation will produce nearly 90% of the county’s energy needs at the installation locations.
“Solano County currently relies heavily on the power grid, and our rates went up eight percent this year,” adds Greve. “This new program figured in annual increases of 4.5 percent as part of its savings calculations, so the benefits could be even greater than anticipated.”
ENGIE will manage the program, which includes installation and maintenance as well as limited replacement projects.
“ENGIE anticipates a long alliance with Solano County, as our contract includes 20 years of operations and maintenance, with a 20-year savings guarantee provided by our Customer Care team,” states Stefaan Sercu, managing director at ENGIE. “This means that if the new infrastructure’s power generation doesn’t meet certain targets, ENGIE will pay the County back.”
The Fairfield Health and Social Services complex, Fairfield Civic Center Library and the Juvenile detention center in Fairfield are some of the projects.