Solar Landscape of Asbury Park said Jan. 21 it was awarded a Request for Proposal by the Asbury Park Board of Education to implement a solar energy program for city schools. The goal of the program is to establish a solar energy system that is environmentally responsible, educational, and economically beneficial to the school district and its students.
Entering into a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Solar Landscape will provide electricity to the Asbury Park School District at no cost for the entire term of the agreement. This will result in a critical cost savings of more than $120,000 a year for Asbury Park schools.
“This is just another example of the cutting-edge measures this board is implementing to ensure we are being fiscally responsible with the resources we have been given,” Asbury Park Board of Education President Angela Ahbez-Anderson said. “By introducing solar into our schools, we are poised to save thousands of dollars. We also are particularly proud of this partnership as the company is based right here in our city.”
The solar energy provider will finance, construct, and maintain the school district’s solar energy system. It will be built on the rooftops of Asbury Park High School, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, and Bradley Elementary School.
“This city is important to us,” commented Solar Landscape CEO Shaun Keegan in a prepared statement. “Growing up in the area, witnessing Asbury Park’s resurgence, and having the opportunity to become a part of its diverse business community means a lot to us at Solar Landscape. When the Board of Education began to explore solar, we decided to offer free electricity to have a meaningful impact in the school district.”
In addition to providing electricity at no cost to the Asbury Park School District for a 15-year term, Solar Landscape has plans to work with the Board of Education to provide renewable energy instruction to Asbury Park students. The program will include student education on the benefits of green energy and an overview of green energy career opportunities that are available to them.
The Asbury Park Board of Education’s energy consultant, Gabel Associates, and SSP Architectural Group hosted the RFP. In addition to Solar Landscape, seven other solar developers supplied bids to the Board of Education. Solar Landscape was formally awarded the project on Oct. 29, 2020.
Solar Landscape’s decision to offer cost-free electricity for this project was due to their close ties to the city. “We really value our community and we’re excited to be able to give back,” said Solar Landscape COO Corey Gross. “We bid well below the average and that will result in several hundred thousand dollars in additional cost savings over the next 15 years for the Asbury Park Board of Education.
Built across four designated schools in Asbury Park, the proposed 1.29 MW system will produce more than 1.5 million kWh of electricity and prevent more than 1,000 metric tons of CO² emissions from entering the local atmosphere every year for the 15-year term of the project.