Back in June of 2019, the Gananda Central School District voters approved an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) with Johnson Control, after the district identified the need for energy efficiencies.
According to Superintendent Shawn VanScoy, an EPC is an energy-related project that offers guaranteed savings on a school energy costs. The benefits include a reduction in energy usage, long-term energy and cost savings, and NYSERDA/ National Grid rebates. If the district does not receive the promised savings, Johnson Controls will compensate the District for the difference.
The average annual utility cost for Gananda CSD - $369,129
The large solar array is just part of the energy project. Besides the panels, which are now in place, the district has installed interior and exterior LED lights, building insulation improvements, water conservation, heating system upgrades, computer power management, pool cover installation, wireless clocks, cogeneration, and distribute energy storage. Most of the EPC work is expected to be done by the Spring of 2021.
As far as the savings, the District will receive 80% reimbursement on the work from the State. The remaining cost will be covered by rebates and savings from instituting energy efficiency measures. When the voters approved the program, the District received an additional 10% in aid from the state. The District needed no outlay of money to begin the project, nor taxpayer cost.
The total estimated cost of this project is approximately $6,261,281. The district will own the solar panels, and the energy savings on all the energy project will pay for the work done, leaving an approximate $165,000 in savings each year, according to Superintendent VanScoy.
The solar panels are projected to be online by June 1, possibly sooner if weather permits.