Inovateus Solar, a Midwest solar developer, and En-Trust, an energy service and finance company for K-12 education, are collaborating on a portfolio of solar and energy efficiency projects for six Ohio school districts. When completed in 2020, the initial ten solar and energy efficiency improvements will provide an average of 25% annual utility savings for each school with escalated additional savings over 30 years.
Inovateus is now in the process of completing the 10 solar installations at the Ayersville, Elida, Holgate, Liberty, Wauseon and Millcreek-West Unity school districts. Because every district’s energy usage varies, Inovateus has designed the solar systems to match the energy needs of each school. The smallest project in the portfolio is a 235.9-kW system installed for the Holgate School Corporation. The largest system is a 1.47-MW ground-mounted solar array that was recently completed at Elida’s High School.
In addition to the solar energy systems, the districts will receive financing and energy efficiency upgrades from En-Trust that will further increase utility savings and reduce operating costs. As with the solar systems, the efficiency improvements are designed for each school, but often include new LED lighting, optimized hot water systems, smart thermostats, chiller and boiler replacements, and other renovations for reducing heating, cooling, gas, water and electricity costs.
En-Trust will finance the solar and energy improvements with a 25-year PPA. With this type of financing, school districts have no upfront capital costs and only pay En-Trust for the generated solar power at a kilowatt-hour rate that is significantly lower than the utility’s rate. En-Trust also operates and maintains the solar projects for the entire 25-year term of the PPA.
In addition to thousands of dollars in energy savings, each school district will not only become more sustainable, but also have visible on-site educational opportunities for students to learn about energy efficiency and solar power generation.
“We’re excited to be collaborating with En-Trust on these Ohio solar school projects,” said Nathan Vogel, VP of business development at Inovateus Solar. “It’s typically difficult to finance school projects, but En-Trust has created a financing solution that truly makes it easy for schools to be more sustainable and to reduce their energy costs.”
“As an Ohio company founded by former K-12 educators, En-Trust is proud to be helping our local school districts benefit from clean energy and reduced utility costs,” said Michael Campo, En-Trust’s chief financial officer. “We’re glad to be working with Inovateus on these projects, and we look forward to working together on helping more schools to transition to clean energy and save on their utility costs.”