Nothing to See Here, Keep on Moving
For those who have been following my back and forth with Loudoun County Public Schools re: #solar. Got a six page memo explaining to me how great they are and how some discussions two years ago leads them to believe not to examine solar any further.
Meanwhile, schools districts in Virginia are putting out RFPs for solar that require no capital expenditure and they share the savings with the developer of the project. Fairfax County is in the process of doing so as I write this note.
Apparently, LCPS is not even interested in putting out an RFP.
Here is my reply to LCPS.
Thank you for your note regarding LCPS sustainability strategy.
As I have told you personally, I certainly applaud all that LCPS has done on the energy efficiency front with respect to day to day energy operations. It is clear to me, however, that LCPS suffers from an institutional aversion to solar regardless of the facts.
As you know, Arlington Public Schools put out a proposal for a PPA for their facilities. Secure Futures did not even bid on the project. If you are making a decision based upon a two year old conversation with Secure Futures without taking the time to issue an RFP of your own then I believe that is a disservice to the public.
While I respectfully disagree that a ground mounted system, which requires pile driving, trenching etc. is a cheaper alternative than simple roof mounted panels with concrete ballast, I would suggest that Woodgrove HS, Blue Ridge MS and Harmony MS have more than enough property available to install an array without doing any harm to the athletic or other needs of the community. A 550 kW array needs approximately 3 acres.
The issuance of an RFP would certainly allow LCPS to actually compare apples to apples. If other school systems are seeing savings, I could not imagine that LCPS would not be able to enjoy the same. Certainly, when Arlington awards their contract I am sure they would be doing so with a savings. As I noted, Fairfax County is issuing an RFP for a PPA which would allow LCPS to ride the contract if it so desired.
Instead of relying on conversations, two-year old data, etc. put out the RFP. Nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Thanks for taking the time.