Ted and Sierra Flanigan's Clean Energy Crash Course: The Chula Vista School District Story

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In this episode of Flanigan’s Eco-Logic, father-daughter duo, Ted and Sierra Flanigan host the clean energy crash course focusing on campus sustainability, specifically spotlighting EcoMotion's work with the Chula Vista Elementary School District.

They start high level, being that working on campuses and sustainability is a shared passion in their professional careers - Sierra more on the strategic side, and Ted more on the operations side.

They jump right into the story, starting with EcoMotion's introduction to the District, and the first step of analyzing one school site to gauge potential, which resulted in a very favorable result for large-scale solar. The next step was performing a feasibility analysis for all 49 campuses, revealing the opportunity to save $60-77 million over 25 years ($60 million if financed, and $88 million if a community bond initiative passed). Ted then presented this to the school board, and they authorized EcoMotion to proceed with releasing an RFP for full-scale solar.

With the passing of the bond, EcoMotion projected $88 million in savings, which has now been recalculated to over $100 million in savings with the escalation of utility rates. EcoMotion then advanced the opportunity to market, reaching out to 24 solar companies that were deemed capable of such a large job and multi-site deployment. The District ended up selecting Engie, with a cost of $4.71 cents per watt, including $7 million O&M over 25 years. 

With the contractor, Engie, selected, EcoMotion facilitated project oversight and quality control, maintaining owner's rep throughout construction, which took a little over 2 years. The 49 sites were in aggregate of 8.1 MW total (175-200 kW per school site), with approximately 18,000 panels, offsetting approximately 80 percent of annual consumption. 

Sierra asks Ted if the Chula Vista ESD experience can be emulated at other school districts, and Ted responds yes, in many cases. There are major opportunities for major energy, cash, and environmental savings.

Ted concludes by sharing that it is also a lesson in smart energy management for students, staff, and teachers alike. It is something to be proud of, and a solar lesson to take home that will have a generational impact.
Ted and Sierra Flanigan's Clean Energy Crash Course: The Chula Vista School District Story
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