ENERGY MANAGEMENT ON CAMPUS
Smart Energy Management Garden Grove Unified School District - Garden Grove, California
Garden Grove Unified School District serves 45,000 students on 72 sites. It has a ~$12 million allocation of Prop 39 funds over five years, and hired EcoMotion to serve as its Prop 39 energy manager. Concurrently, the District is at the mid-point of a nearly half billion-dollar bond initiative which involves the retrofit of every one of its 69 school sites. The District’s attention has been necessarily on modernization and EcoMotion was hired to manage Prop 39 – from energy efficiency to renewables and storage — district-wide. EcoMotion has melded efficiency funds and initiatives with modernization, providing advanced efficiency through LED lighting and pool pump controls and other measures, and feathering in to the District’s construction schedule. Already we’ve enabled advanced levels of energy efficiency at six campuses, with that many again in the queue.
Along the way, EcoMotion and its Climate Smart Schools partnership with Climate Resolve has been instrumental in leveraging the Prop 39 program effect. We’ve won a $2 million grant for drought-tolerant planting, and to create bioswales on three high school campuses. We applied for and won a grant for zero net energy. Now we’re developing a zero net energy project at Santiago High School supported with a grant from Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas. It incorporates heightened levels of energy efficiency, solar, and storage, as well as student engagement. It was the ZNE project that propelled GGUSD’s pursuit of solar and storage. EcoMotion analyzed every school site for its solar financial viability and recommended solar at 20 of the largest campuses, plus the District office and its maintenance facilities.
Prop 39 Services Poway Unified School District - Poway, California
EcoMotion serves the Poway Unified School District with Prop 39 services, and we have for years thanks to our project lead at Barnhart Reese Construction. Working closely to PUSD’s own lighting, retro-commissioning, and HVAC engineers, EcoMotion has been instrumental in bridging between aspiration, on the part of the District, and fulfilling the stricture of the CEC’s guidelines. Thus far, a half dozen school sites have been retrocommissioned and largely relit – creating dramatic savings. In once instance, the installation of a “pony chiller” will allow for efficient operations during shoulder seasons when the central chilling plant’s full capacity is not required.
EcoMotion’s work for PUSD has extended beyond energy efficiency. We’ve evaluated solar proposals, in once case a 20-campus proposal situating panels on modular classrooms’ rooftops that was ultimately approved. EcoMotion also provided an independent review of a proposal to site energy storage systems on PUSD campuses. EcoMotion studied the proposal at hand, spoke with competing vendors, assessed the storage industry – specifically the interaction between solar and storage – and helped the District map a strategy for storage on 19 campuses backed with a performance guarantee. The systems will serve to reduce peak demand charges and are completely third-party financed, managed, and maintained.
Battery Back-Up and Solar and Prop 39 Santa Rita Unified School District - Salinas, California
EcoMotion is currently working for the Santa Rita Unified School District located in Salinas, California. Salinas, with a population of 150,000, is in the heart of agricultural Monterey County, known as “the Salad Bowl of the World.” Our work for the six-campus SRUSD involved two activities: First, we were asked to explore the use of battery storage systems for emergency back-up. The District has placed a high priority on six-hour storage to be able to keep students safely at school in the event of a power outage. The second task has been to examine the value of solar to the District. Our team analyzed bills for each campus and the District office (as well as adjacent Monterey County offices), conducted thorough site assessments, calculated emergency back-up requirements, and then evaluated energy and dollar savings opportunities for solar systems combined with rate switches. With Board approval, EcoMotion crafted and released a Request for Proposals for the District seeking emergency back-up (be it batteries or other forms of backup, including traditional generators) and an aggregate of 1 MW of solar. Bidders proposed one or both service options.
Prop 39 Services Fallbrook Union Elementary School District - Fallbrook, California
Known as the “Avocado Capital of the World,” Fallbrook is an unincorporated community of ~30,000 residents in rural Northern San Diego County. It’s due east of Camp Pendleton; two of the District’s schools are located on the Marine Corps base. FUESD has ten campuses, including a facilitated homeschool academy. Working on the Barnhart Reese Construction team, EcoMotion benchmarked each campus and then identified measures on one campus for its first, bundled, multi-year Energy Expenditure Plan for Live Oak Elementary School. Energy conservation measures (ECMs) identified include replacing 22 of the school’s existing inefficient heat pumps with higher efficiency units, the replacement of the heat exchanger flat plates to restore proper flow and heat transfer to the system. This will optimize the scheduled operation and control sequences of the cooling tower systems, balance the condenser water loops, balance the heat pump air intake, and commission existing system.
Prop 39 Services Savanna School District - Anaheim, California
EcoMotion is serving as the Prop 39 energy manager for Savanna School District, located in Anaheim, California. The six-campus district has recently modernized each of its campuses, one of which qualified for retroactive Prop 39 energy efficiency funding. EcoMotion’s work there involved an analysis of pre-modernization baseline conditions, retrofit details and the resulting energy savings, thus the retrofit’s costs and benefits. EcoMotion worked closely with the project architect and project manager. Lighting, HVAC, and other retrofit measures qualified for funding and thus were included in the Prop 39 funding request, a multi-year Energy Expenditure Plan.
Prop 39 Services Cypress School District - Cypress, California
EcoMotion is serving as Prop 39 Energy Manager for Cypress School District. As with Savanna School District, Cypress features recently modernized campuses, one of which qualified for retroactive energy efficiency funding. Works there involved an analysis of pre-modernization baseline conditions, retrofit activity, its costs and benefits. EcoMotion worked closely with the project architect and project manager Lynne Pentecost of Schoolhaus Advisors. The Cypress School District strategy is to develop a multi-year Energy Expenditure Plan that includes both retroactive funding and new measures to save energy and dollars for the District.
Prop 39 and Solar Santa Rosa Academy - Menifee, California
Santa Rosa Academy is a charter school located in Menifee, California. The K-12 school features three academic tracks allowing for on-campus study, home schooling, and a middle-ground program. EcoMotion’s role on campus has been to determine the best use of the school’s Prop 39 allocation, made a bit more complex given the fact that the brand-new campus was built to California’s rigorous Title 24 building standards.
After a thorough investigation of the campus, and working closely with its builder, EcoMotion and the school decided to focus on a two-pronged approach. First was an analysis of solar opportunities on campus. EcoMotion developed various scenarios including a 100% solar option. Ultimately, the school elected to pursue an 85 kW solar system to be installed in the roof of its brand new gym. EcoMotion coordinated this solicitation with the school’s architect and builder, crafting an RFP, managing job walk and bidders’ questions, and making a recommendation to the school on a select contractor. A second use of its allocation will be used to fund an energy management system (EMS) to control the school’s 64 rooftop HVAC units. The new system will allow for controls and monitoring.
FINANCING FOR CAMPUSES
Financing Solar for Non-Profits - EcoMotion’s Benefactor Investment Model
Non—profit institutions, such as schools and universities have long suffered the challenge of going solar, without a “tax appetite.” In other words, being non-profit they can neither tap the investment tax credit (worth 30% of total system cost) nor the depreciation benefits that can be as high as another 35% of system costs. The use of power purchase agreements (PPAs) is appealing since the private-sector partner can monetize the tax benefits, but clearly financial institutions are reaping attractive returns instead of the site users. Thus the ultimate cost of solar, like a mortgage, can be double its nominal value. EcoMotion’s Benefactor Investment Model uses the assets of concerned, caring, and oft-wealthy alumni and other benefactors, coupled with a “friendly PPA” to take advantage of the best of both for-profit and non-profit worlds. EcoMotion’s Senior Business Advisor – Mark Hopkinson – developed the BIM for EcoMotion. In this model, benefactors take the tax benefits, get their money back in full, and in time donate the system to the non-profit. For more information, please give us a call!
Energy Service Agreements Renew Energy - Boston, Massachusetts
Energy Service Agreements, or ESAs, are a promising new model for financing energy efficiency. Like Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for solar and wind, ESA providers are responsible for installing equipment on site, then maintaining and operating it for the life of the contract, and charging the customer for saved kilowatt hours… not equipment installed. As long as deals can be structured such that ESA payments are less than prior utility bills, the deal is viable.
For Renew Energy, a leading provider of ESAs, EcoMotion reached out to a dozen schools and universities in New England, describing the model and its benefits to campuses and other institutions.
Green Revolving Funds Sustainable Endowments Institute - Boston, Massachusetts
The Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) is a special project of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and is based in Boston Massachusetts. SEI developed the “Billion Dollar Challenge.” Could SEI’s Executive Director, Mark Orlowski, and his colleagues get universities to create green revolving funds worth a billion dollars in aggregate? Harvard and the University of Vermont vied for the largest funds. SEI had written a fabulous guide to green revolving funds, showing 5 – 6 ways to seed the capital and as many ways to divide the benefits over time.
In 2013, EcoMotion and the Sustainable Endowments Institute teamed up to coordinate the Leaders in Energy Efficiency Financing (LEEF) network, providing no-cost technical consulting to schools in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts. Thanks to grants from the Barr Foundation and the John Merck Fund, EcoMotion and SEI reached out to almost 200 schools and engaged senior leadership to explore and implement green revolving funds on 21 campuses and the cities of Boston and Cambridge. For example, Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts partnered with EcoMotion and SEI to explore the Green Revolving Fund model and within six months launched a half-million dollar pilot fund dedicated to energy efficiency and engagement.
GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORIES AND SUSTAINABILITY PLANNING
Sustainability at Saint Joseph’s College Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Climate Action Plan, Eco-Reps - Standish, Maine
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine is a private Catholic liberal arts college in Standish, Maine, that grants bachelor’s degrees in a traditional on-campus setting, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees via online education. Saint Joseph’s was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1912 as an institution for women, originally located on convent grounds in Portland until 1956 when it moved to Standish, located on the shores of Sebago Lake, 18 miles from Portland. In 1970, Saint Joseph’s became coeducational and six years later began a distance education program for working adults. Saint Joseph’s offers its online programs to 2,400 students in 50 states and nine countries.
At Saint Joseph’s, EcoMotion has been instrumental in revitalizing a sustainability initiative that includes a campus farm, an LED-lit gymnasium, greenhouse gas inventories, and more. In the first year, EcoMotion prepared a greenhouse gas inventory for the campus as well as its sustainability plan. Both of these deliverables were used to fulfill the milestone requirements of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). In addition, EcoMotion manages a vibrant “eco-rep” program through which students take the lead on spurring and carrying out green initiatives on campus. With an existing Bronze STARS rating, Saint Joseph’s College is looking to advance informed by a STARS gap analysis and submittal, which will be conducted in the Spring of 2016.
Moving Up the Sustainability Curve Bryant University - Smithfield, Rhode Island
EcoMotion was originally retained by Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island in 2012 to boost its sustainability profile. Given student and alumni interest in a green Bryant, the University hired EcoMotion to assess the campus and to recommend a strategy to advance the cause. EcoMotion began with a gap analysis. Just what would it take to get to STARS bronze? A plan was developed and fulfilled and EcoMotion was successful in helping Bryant get its first STARs rating in 2013. With Bronze in hand, EcoMotion then worked for Bryant to attain the Silver Level, and to track progress from its STARS baseline. This work involves advocacy, harvesting support across campus, facilitating meetings and initiatives across departments, and crafting a portfolio of steps to boost this business school’s reputation and standing in New England.
In addition to STARS, EcoMotion developed and recently completed the third edition of the Bryant University Sustainability Plan, complete with a refined, quantified tracking tool to measure progress towards the Plan’s goals. Our team developed and has facilitated a strong Sustainability Ambassadors program, known on other campuses as eco-reps. These students have been coordinated to boost the school’s standing in RecycleMania and other events such as GameDay Recycling, spreading the word peer-to-peer. Recent works with “Green Office Cleanouts” have resulted in repurposing surplus supplies, shredding and recycling. Having assessed all locations for solar on campus – from rooftops to parking lots and ground-mount options — EcoMotion tracks Rhode Island incentives for distributed solar for Bryant.
Sustainability Planning Thayer Academy - Braintree, Massachusetts
Thayer Academy is a private, co-educational, college-preparatory day school located in Braintree, Massachusetts. The academy was conceived in 1871 at the bequest of General Sylvanus Thayer, the father of the Military Academy at West Point, and then established in 1877. Thayer annually enrolls 470 students in the Upper School and 220 students in the Middle School. The 34-acre campus is made up of eight buildings; students are drawn from Boston’s Metro West and South Shore communities.
Today, Thayer Academy, like many schools, is getting into sustainability in earnest, and its leaders recognized the need to coalesce various stakeholders to develop a sustainability committee and a basic charter for action. A sustainability coordinator was selected from the faculty pool. EcoMotion was hired to facilitate this process, and to help jumpstart a number of practical initiatives to demonstrate leadership in sustainability and to get the ball rolling on campus. A committee formed, its mission and game plan were defined.
Beyond organizing and facilitating the Sustainability Committee, EcoMotion has taken on a number of unique assignments: Our team managed the repurposing of surplus furniture and office equipment. Large shipping containers full of desks, chairs, tables, etc. had been parked on school property for some time. EcoMotion’s job was to get the material removed, which we did by engaging a partnership with Goodwill. We then went on to tackle composting in the dining hall, now fully implemented. We’ve been involved with a garden initiative at three locations. EcoMotion has also drafted and refined a set of Green Building Guidelines to codify sustainability in all new construction.
Rapid Campus Sustainability Assessments Milton Academy and Moses Brown School - Milton, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island
EcoMotion offers Rapid Campus Sustainability Assessments for campuses that want to get a quick and inexpensive look at how they stack up in terms of sustainability. What STARS rating might they achieve? What needs to be done to shore up operations, or policy, curriculum, or student engagement? At Milton Academy and Moses Brown in 2015, EcoMotion identified and interviewed 15 – 20 key stakeholders on each campus using customized and industry relevant questions. Then we created a campus sustainability profile to gauge efforts to date, assess strengths, and recommend opportunities for next steps based on the unique characteristics of each campus. EcoMotion also provided this targeted service to Central New Mexico Community College.
Sustainability Services St Mark’s School - Southborough, Massachusetts
St. Mark’s School is a co-ed college preparatory school about 25 miles west of Boston. It has benefitted from EcoMotion’s energy on campus, our action-oriented facilitation. Our team began with the formation of the Sustainability Committee, identifying and enlisting stakeholder members, then crafting meeting agenda, drafting a charter and mission statement, and sharing meeting minutes. The committee work led directly to drafting the School’s first comprehensive Sustainability Plan. The Plan includes domains such as governance and engagement, water and energy, and academics and research, each informed by stakeholders across campus life.
EcoMotion has also managed the St. Mark’s Eco-Rep program, known as Students for Sustainability. One of its most exciting initiatives was “Weigh the Waste,” raising awareness about food wasted on campus and specifically in the Dining Hall. Students made videos and all-school announcements to capture and communicate results to the rest of campus.
Mapping Carbon Neutrality Millbrook School - Millbrook, New York
In 2012, EcoMotion was retained to serve as carbon neutrality/solar advisor at Millbrook School, a prep school in Dutchess County, New York. Ultimately a three-phased approach was adopted. The first phase resulted in the completion of a 1.735 MW solar system that now powers the School’s entire annual electricity use. After winning a $1.25 million incentive from the State of New York, EcoMotion helped the school secure a fixed 7.5 cent per kilowatt-hour PPA price for the solar, with a zero percent escalator for 20 years, and Millbrook retains and can retire the RECs.
The second phase targets the space-heating footprint, about 55% of the total campus footprint. This will be accomplished with more geothermal and more insulation, better doors and windows and heightened conservation practices. The third phase involves biofuels, potentially building a digester or cellulosic ethanol facility on campus and harvesting the energy in agricultural wastes from neighboring farms.
Updating the Climate Action Plan Boston Architectural College - Boston, Massachusetts
EcoMotion Campus Services Coordinator, Sierra Flanigan, has served as a Visiting Faculty Member at Boston Architectural College (BAC), instructing architecture students in the field of sustainability. BAC is installing a massive geothermal (“geo-exchange”) system – to a depth two times the height of the nearly Prudential Center – at its busy “Back Bay” location. In 2014, Sierra Flanigan worked closely with students and a teacher’s assistant to update the College’s Climate Action Plan.
The Roots of Sustainability Fisher College - Boston, Massachusetts
Fisher College, located in the Back Bay of Boston, helped define EcoMotion’s turn-key campus services. This working-class institution was ripe for a new emphasis on sustainability that transcended operations and the classrooms. There, faculty and students fully integrated sustainability, cutting costs and engaging students in applied learning. In its first year the program set up communications for students and faculty including a website, built a solid Eco-Reps program, branded the program with a new logo, re-invigorated the campus’ recycling program, and added reusable water bottles to daily life. Students and faculty provided input for an Eco-Rep handbook and engagement form and finalized Fisher’s Strategic Sustainability Plan. A favorite memory from this work was the open mike that students called “Greenstock” with all songs and the theme for the night being the environment.
Campus Sustainability Assessment and STARS Submittal Central New Mexico Community College - Albuquerque, New Mexico
In the spring term of 2009, CNM became the largest postsecondary institution in the State of New Mexico. Housed on nine campuses in the Albuquerque area, CNM surpassed the University of New Mexico for the first time. CNM’s enrollment was 24,621 for college-credit courses, also serving several thousand students with non-credit courses. CNM offers 47 associate degrees that span the arts and sciences and career and technical fields as well as 52 certificates in business, health, technologies, and technical fields.
In 2013, EcoMotion was retained by CNM to facilitate the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS) Report. EcoMotion conducted an initial STARS assessment through an onsite interview and engagement process and then served as a Sustainability Coordinator in gathering data and educating the community through a STARS workshop with over 30 stakeholders from across campus. One-on-one meetings and follow up added guidance and support throughout the five-month process.
CNM earned a rating of 43.02, well above the Bronze-rating threshold of 35. To outline areas for improvement EcoMotion developed a thorough gap analysis to provide insight and recommendations for CNM to strengthen sustainability efforts through the STARS framework. CNM is now well positioned to advance to STARS Silver.
“Eco-Reps” at Bryant, St. Mark’s, and Saint Joseph’s - Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine
EcoMotion’s “Eco-Rep” program is strong and vibrant, harnessing and directing the power of youth toward environmental responsibility and action. Self-selected, voluntary Eco-Reps have outlet for their activism, and comrades. At Bryant, the EcoMotion-led “Sustainability Ambassadors” have been active on campus for several years, with growing numbers of students interested and committed. At St Mark’s the “Students for Sustainability” take action on a number of fronts, including recycling at the school’s recent centennial. In Maine, at Saint Joseph’s College, EcoMotion-managed Eco-Reps are organizing events, raising awareness, and advocating environmental responsibility on campus.
Green Energy Entrepreneurs Series College of the Desert and the Inland Empire College District - Chino Hills, San Bernardino, and Riverside
In 2015, EcoMotion was hired by two community college districts to carry our their shared vision of promoting careers in the green space. To so so, we would feature advanced technologies, and some advanced thinkers! Four workshops were held on emerging energy technologies… from solar to storage. One of the highlights of the series was a session that included the perspectives Joe Desmond, now with Brightsource and former chair of the California Energy Commission.
The Climate Action Crew - Coachella Valley, California
EcoMotion had the privilege to develop greenhouse gas inventories, energy action plans, and climate action plans for six desert cities and a tribe in the Coachella Valley in Southern California. A colorful and highly successful component of the initiative was the creation and deployment of Green for Life project interns, known as “the Climate Action Crew.” Managed by EcoMotion, the crew was made up of 18 interns, many from College of the Desert in Palm Desert. With training and organization that we provided, the Crew played an important outreach role in its members’ own and neighboring communities. They were the “human shield” at council meetings. In addition to supporting EcoMotion data collection, crew members developed an Energy Action Pledge to capture the interest and commitment of the individuals they met. And they had a large display for some events, EcoMotion’s Emissions Time Bomb.
The Solar Squad Solar Santa Monica - City of Santa Monica
One of EcoMotion’s fondest memories is the work we did with high school and college-age, solar enthusiasts in Santa Monica. EcoMotion’s Tiffany Tay fielded a 12-student “Solar Squad” in Santa Monica that went door-to-door promoting solar in the summer of 2009, especially for those homes with the most advantageous roofs. A list of “good solar roofs” was developed by our team, for potential further use, such as a letter from the Mayor asking, “Do you know that your roof has been rated high for its solar potential?” The Squad visited over 5,000 homes, had over 1,500 solar conversations, and mapped the best roofs in town.
Sustainability at Wheaton College - Norton, Massachusetts
EcoMotion’s campus service was born at Wheaton College. In addition to a fostering sustainability on campus through inter-dormitory contests and student government, there, Sierra Flanigan, Ally Andrews, Chad Mirmelli, and others conceived and developed the Murphy Apple Orchard initiative as a potent symbol of both education (Newton) and sustainability as an edible landscape. Now six years old, the Orchard has become a vibrant living-learning laboratory and sustainability is built into the campus fabric. EcoMotion continues to foster the Orchard and its legacy while urging the College to greater and greater sustainability gains.
Student Education in Schools - California, Illinois, and Sweden
Some years ago and as Director of The Energy Coalition, EcoMotion President Ted Flanigan redesigned and was responsible for the implementation of the PEAK Student Energy Actions program. It was, and still is, a comprehensive, standards-based smart energy management curriculum for elementary and middle school students. During his management of the program, the PEAK program concept was revamped and the program was provided to 50,000 students in five years with participating schools throughout California, and pilot initiatives in Illinois and Sweden. PEAK teaches the concepts of smart energy management, and how to take action.
“California’s Electricity Traffic Jam” San Diego Gas and Electric and Countywide Education - San Diego, California
The EcoMotion team led a SDG&E spring initiative to educate elementary school students about peak power periods in 2001. The project involved developing an activity book for third grade students on demand reductions – called “California’s Electricity Traffic Jam” – and then successfully delivering it to 135,000 third grade students within four months of concept. A classic “direct response” piece, the book drew hundreds of responses from students and their families.