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 3.4 MW of solar, four sustainable microgrids, with 1.9 MW / 7.6 MWh of battery energy storage with microgrid controls. It also provides emergency generators, county-wide LED lighting retrofits, essential HVAC equipment replacements, 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.”
The county will achieve an offset of more than $60 million in utility bills over 20 years. These energy cost savings are expected to pay for most of the 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 administer the program, which includes installation, maintenance and 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 projects include installations at the Health and Social Services complex in Fairfield, the Fairfield Civic Center Library, the Juvenile Detention Center in Fairfield, the Vallejo campus, and the William J. Carroll Government Center in Vacaville.