SOLAR FOR BUSINESSES
LeFiell Manufacturing - Santa Fe Springs, CA
Capital Group Companies - Irvine, California and San Antonio, Texas
The site is the headquarters campus of the Capital Group Companies in Irvine, California. EcoMotion served as “owner’s representative,” facilitating the development of the largest solar system installation in Orange County at that time. Management there recognized the tremendous value in its green leadership to employees and prospective employees. The system is just shy of one megawatt with a generating capacity of 993 kW, and is made up of 5,472 Kyocera panels. Mounted on existing rooftop shade structures on parking structures at the perimeter of the campus, the power is consolidated to provide nearly half the requirements of the company’s data center and central plant.
EcoMotion was also instrumental in literally getting Capital Group to the front of the line in Central Public Service’s feed-in tariff solicitation in San Antonio, Texas, ultimately scuttled due to a nuance in the property taxes related to solar installations generating power for off-site uses. EcoMotion continues to monitor the Orange County system and advise Capital Group officials on solar developments in its states of interest: California, Virginia, Indiana, and Texas.
Award-Winning Solar Ports Cathay Bank - El Monte, California
Established in 1962, Cathay Bank is the oldest Chinese American bank in the United States. Headquartered in El Monte, California, the Bank brought EcoMotion aboard for assistance in developing a solar port project in its sunny, southern parking lot. EcoMotion began by refining the plan and clarifying the project, re-issuing the Request for Proposals with a specific design and scope presented. This saved the Bank hundreds of thousands of dollars. Having helped select the winning bidder, EcoMotion worked with the Bank, the Bank’s architect, and Permacity, the installer ultimately selected for the job.
The 421.3 kW PV system that was built in 2013 is based on carports covered with solar. The canopies feature 2,128 solar panels, sourced from Schüco, a German company. The PV system generates ~650,000 kWh annually, cutting power costs by 40% and saving ~$9,000 each month. In addition, it has substantially reduced the bank’s carbon footprint; keeping nearly 500 tons of greenhouse gases (CO2e) from being released into the atmosphere each year. The project also features LED lighting. In 2014, it won a Los Angeles Business Council award for excellence.
Owner’s Representative Services simplehuman - Torrance, California
For simplehuman, a designer of high-end bath and kitchen supplies, EcoMotion provided owner’s representative services through the contracting and installation of its roof-top solar system. In this capacity, EcoMotion’s solar team reviewed and commented on the contract with a select vendor, including its work plans and timeline. In this case EcoMotion was pleased to provide a quick and incisive exercise with periodic follow-up during installation and commissioning. This can be an invaluable service for companies who are experts in their own lines of work, but recognized the need for a subject matter expert to represent it.
Solar Portfolio Optimization Kimco Realty Corporation - White Plains, New York
Kimco Realty Corporation, a real estate investment trust headquartered in New Hyde Park, New York, is North America’s largest publicly traded owner and operator of open-air shopping centers. As of December 31, 2015, Kimco owned interests in 564 U.S. shopping centers comprising 90 million square feet of leasable space across 38 states and Puerto Rico. For Kimco, EcoMotion helped to strategize and target properties and opportunities for solar installations. After extensive roof-top analysis, a detailed case study of a mall in La Mirada, California highlighted key barriers – split incentives, varying leases, metering logistics, etc. – and pointed Kimco Realty, a REIT, toward a LLC position, rewriting leases and using rooftops and solar to create a new corporate profit center. Ultimately, three large solar installations were developed at shopping malls in New Jersey, capitalizing on strong incentives (through the SREC mechanism, Solar Renewable Energy Credits) and cold and wet winters that encourage enclosed malls.
Owner’s Representative Services Nikken Corporation - Irvine, California
Shortly after the successful completion of the Capital Group Companies solar system in Irvine, EcoMotion was approached by the Nikken Corporation to assess the viability of a proposed deal for its ample roof in Irvine. EcoMotion provided a thorough, objective analysis, recommending to Nikken that it proceed with solar with its select contractor which it did with great success. As with simplehuman, the work for Nikken was quick and low cost, assuring its corporate owner of a fair and beneficial solar deal.
SOLAR FOR SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES
Solar and Emergency Back-Up 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’ve been 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.
Solar for the New Gymnasium Santa Rosa Academy - Menifee, California
For the past six months, and as part of its Prop 39 work, EcoMotion has been working with the Santa Rosa Academy to develop a solar project, first exploring the school’s options, and then focusing in on the school’s direction and the rooftop of its new gym. EcoMotion coordinated this solicitation with the school’s architect and builder, crafting a request for proposals, managing job walk and bidders’ questions, and making a recommendation to the school on a select contractor.
Solar for Student Housing University of Southern California - Los Angeles, California
In 2015, EcoMotion was hired by University of Southern California to assess its solar opportunities in student housing. EcoMotion’s solar team evaluated all sites for solar, measuring rooftops, conducting shading analysis, and noting roof conditions. These perspectives and data sets were then married with financial analysis, verifying rate structures and thus the value of solar on each facility.
First Phase Solar Garden Grove Unified School District Garden - Grove, California
EcoMotion is currently working for the Garden Grove Unified School District as its Proposition 39 manager, and in this capacity has introduced and advocated solar on campuses. Given Southern California Edison’s rate options, the District could save money and lots of it. EcoMotion’s solar team analyzed every school campus for solar, as well as the district office and its maintenance facilities, and found that in every case solar would save money for GGUSD while teaching students about taking climate action, and providing teachers and others with shaded parking. EcoMotion has made numerous presentations on the solar potentials, supported an RFP process that was scuttled, and continues to support solar as the District looks at bonding options for select campuses.
Additional Solar and Storage Steps Poway Unified School District - Poway, California
EcoMotion is currently working for the Poway Unified School District as its Proposition 39 manager, and in this capacity has supported the District in its review of solar on campus. The District has four systems in place already, and we evaluated these contracsts and the systems’ performances. We ran simulations of the value of solar on a number of high-using campuses, and found attractive economics. We reviewed and commented on the District’s desired power purchase agreement for limited solar on a number of its modulars. One contract review by EcoMotion seemed quite successful in lowering the PPA rate.
100% Solar Powered Millbrook School Solar - Millbrook, New York
EcoMotion has served as Millbrook School’s carbon neutrality advisor, developing a plan to cut emissions to zero over time. 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 price for the solar, with a zero percent escalator for 20 years, and Millbrook retains and can retire the RECs.
EcoMotion’s role in the process was sequential. We began fielding a call from a passionate faculty member. She’d received several cold call quotes for solar, and wanted help. But back up, school leadership would have to be brought on board. After several presentations, EcoMotion was brought on board by the school to represent it in solar exploration, and if favorable, its negotiation.
EcoMotion developed and released an RFP to qualified solar installation firms seeking cash and PPA pricing. We developed the Benefactor Investment Model assuming that we would need “friendly” capital to finance the system given that region of New York’s very low power rates. And then, after receiving a NYSERDA grant for $1.25 million, we were able to get the highly favorable PPA rate.
EcoMotion continued to serve as project manager throughout the construction period, addressing concerns and ongoing issues. There was a glitch: The interconnection study determine that there was a low power factor already in that part of the distribution network, and that we would not be able to interconnect without $580,000 dollars of cost. We’d allocated $250,000, hoping it would be much lower. Ultimately we were able to decrease the power factor on the solar system – resulting in 5% less kWh output – and to thus interconnect at a cost under the original placeholder. The eight-acre system is now operating as planned, providing 100% of the School’s power.
“The No-Cost AASHE Special” Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education - Denver, Colorado
From 2013 through 2015, EcoMotion had the great privilege to partner with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and to serve as a solar advisor to its members. In 2016, and absent a formal contract renewal with AASHE, EcoMotion elected to continue to serve all AASHE members with the same service. Since then our solar team has had the great opportunity to work with solar advocates on campuses across the country. Our solar provides up to 10 hours of no-cost initial project consultation for AASHE’s campus 890+ members. “Just give us a call!”
Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District - Santa Monica, California
Working as consultants through Solar Santa Monica, EcoMotion successfully negotiated a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between a financier, solar contractor, and the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District. The 745 kW AC deal, providing for systems on nine schools, had been log-jammed until EcoMotion’s analysis and advocacy clarified and amended the originally proposed terms.
A Wave of Solar on Campuses Los Angeles Unified School District - Los Angeles, California
With over 2,000 campuses, LAUSD is the largest school district in California. In 2010 it was authorized with bonding authority for solar systems on LAUSD schools. EcoMotion joined an “all-star” solar team to prepare a pragmatic solar strategy that included a screening system for site selection. This involved roof age, material and condition; interconnection requirements; bill offset based on a myriad of rate structures; shade and wind analysis; and balancing technical opportunities with impacting young students and their families with positive renewable energy messages. EcoMotion reviewed dozens of sites for the District, paving the way for 10 solar systems on LAUSD campuses.
Campus-Wide Solar Feasibility Santa Monica College - Santa Monica, California
EcoMotion has a six-year history working with Santa Monica College (SMC) in Santa Monica, California. We continue to serve on the colleges renewable energy committee. Our solar team analyzed the entire campus for its solar potential, and was instrumental in developing and continuing to refine the College’s solar strategy.
EcoMotion’s SMC solar scoping study detailed a 16-rooftop solar potential, complete with financial analysis. Meshing strategically with campus facilities improvements, EcoMotion identified a 1.2 MW potential. The College began the first phase of construction in 2009 and in the Fall of 2010 completed two systems mounted on parking lots, for a total of 408 kilowatts DC. The deal was enables by Chevron Energy Services, financing that combined energy efficiency with solar.
The College has made plans to expand its solar capacity with another 515 kW to be spread across four different buildings. EcoMotion supports the college in a number of ways – keeping facilities officials up to date on incentives and regulatory changes, and connecting certified contractors with College officials, and serving on an advisory board. Concurrently, EcoMotion advised the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District on an eight-school solar installation enabled by a power purchase agreement that provided 100% financing to the district.
A Solar Donation University of Phoenix to the Boys and Girls Club - Pomona, California
The site is the Boys and Girls Club of Pomona Valley, and it’s Earth Day. There’s a special celebration for the new 5 kW solar system on its roof. University of Phoenix hired EcoMotion to design the initiative, locate suitable sites, and work with the select site through installation and commissioning. EcoMotion managed the process of selecting the recipient, the right roof and the right contractor for the job.
The select recipient was Pomona Valley. The University of Phoenix then donated the money for the system, managed by EcoMotion. Victor Caceres, Executive Director of the Pomona Valley Club, served as Master of Ceremonies of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, noting that the demonstration project will help educate future generations about their role in sustaining our natural resources, and that the club will benefit from monthly utility-bill savings for the next 25 years.
Rapid Campus Solar Analysis Life Pacific College - San Dimas, California
For Life Pacific College in San Dimas, California, EcoMotion provided a third-party analysis of the solar potential of a “perfect roof” on the new campus gymnasium. Despite the positive solar production potential, EcoMotion ultimately advised against the project based on the client’s utility rate structure and the College’s economic parameters.
PROGRAMS FOR CITIES AND REGIONAL GOVERNMENT
Comprehensive Solar Consulting Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority - Los Angeles, California
Since 2013, EcoMotion has supported TRC Engineering to serve as the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s solar consultant. Metro owns the world’s largest clean-burning bus fleet, has rather massive bus and train yards and maintenance facilities, large park and ride lots, a light rail system growing throughout Los Angeles that includes stations as well as rights of way, and now Union Station. There are clearly lots of places to further integrate solar intro the Metro system.
EcoMotion’s solar consulting has many facets. We began by examining properties and sites and rate offsets for solar, building a database of solar opportunities. EcoMotion was retained by Metro to track the development of LADWP’s pilot feed-in tariff program and to position projects for submittal as warranted. More recently, and after planning and coordination, we supported Metro in issuing an RFP for solar installations at four Metro “divisions,” large maintenance facilities that have both flat and ample roofs and high power use and demand.
Currently our team is involved with a) repair of the existing systems, b) furthering the training of maintenance personnel at Metro – through trainings, refreshers, competitions, and a ten-part series of video instructions – c) developing community solar, and d) and solar canopies for bus yards.
Solar Santa Monica - Santa Monica, California
For the past eight years, EcoMotion has served as the project manager for Solar Santa Monica. There, EcoMotion has developed a comprehensive solar service that includes certified providers of solar installations and financing. EcoMotion currently manages dozens of efficiency and solar retrofits throughout the local community, continually offering workshops and advice for home and business owners on technologies, financing and payback. To date, EcoMotion has advised hundreds of property owners, and managed solar projects for Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (9 elementary schools) and Santa Monica College. This past year Solar Santa Monica won a prestigious award presented by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Solar Feasibility and Strategic Evaluation The Port of Long Beach - Long Beach, California
TRC Solutions, in partnership with EcoMotion, was one of four firms qualified by the Port of Long Beach to serve its consulting needs regarding energy management. EcoMotion serves as the solar consultant in the project, and one of our first works was to estimate the solar potential on site using different technologies and financial arrangements. This potentials analysis was part of a broader renewable energy analysis compiled by TRC experts.
Solar for the City - Beverly Hills, California
The City of Beverly Hills hired EcoMotion to provide solar consulting services in a very specific scope of work. Our first task was to evaluate the operations and efficacy of the Beverly Hills Civic Center solar system. Next we evaluated all other municipal facilities for their solar potential. Both tasks were completed and reported to City officials. We found a solar system operating sub-optimally, and got it fixed. We found only marginally viable solar deals at many parking structures. An interesting next step will be to evaluate if the City can spur solar on homes and businesses. If so, the City’s original plan of bundling City-facility solar (perhaps on a half dozen sites or more) with home and business-owners’ installations may be viable.
Solar at Miami City Hall - Miami, Florida
Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, incoming Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors at the time, was searching for a demonstration of the City’s commitment to greening and to justify its honor as America’s cleanest city. Working for EcoMedia, EcoMotion recommended unique solar structures – able to withstand hurricane winds – to be ground-mounted at the historic Miami City Hall. EcoMotion found a local company able to manufacture, assemble and install them. Thanks to capable partners at the City and contracting firms, the project was also done in record time – from City Council approval to camera crews at the ribbon cutting in less than three weeks.
In addition to solar, EcoMotion recommended storm-water management, efficient plumbing fixtures, and a complete lighting retrofit including demonstration T-5 lighting. Despite structural and architectural challenges at the historic Miami City Hall – it had formerly been a Pan Am Airlines airship terminal — the project was completed on time and on budget and received significant publicity.
The Miami City Hall demonstration was sponsored by EcoMedia, an environmental marketing company now owned by CBS. EcoMotion provided strategic direction and guided high profile, simultaneous projects in Florida and California to demonstrate “clean tech” solutions through public-private partnerships.
Spain 2008 Solar Research Tour - Madrid, Seville, Valencia, Alicante, Barcelona
EcoMotion and Solar Energy International joined forces in 2008 and at the height of the Spanish feed-in tariffs for solar, EcoMotion arranged a tour for municipal leaders from California to visit Spain and to learn from leading policy makers, business leaders, and academicians while visiting research facilities and cutting-edge solar sites. With the highest solar insolation levels in all of Europe, and high feed-in tariff incentives, Spain surged in 2008 to the number two position in the world in solar installations after Germany.
The Spain 2008 Solar Research Tour started in Madrid then continued over the course of a week to Seville and Alicante to end in Barcelona. Following EcoMotion tradition, the group travelled by train and public transportation. Days were full, with different guided tours, presentations by leading professional industry groups and researchers.
German 2007 Solar Research Tour - Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Freiburg
In October 2007, EcoMotion led a tour of city officials to Germany to study its remarkable Feed-in Tariff. Begun in 2004, in three years Germany became the leading nation in the world for solar deployment. The tour began in Berlin where we met government officials, then toured the Conergy photovoltaic plant on the Polish border, before heading to Munich, Stuttgart, and Freiberg. Participants travelled by train and visited the world’s leading laboratories – including the Fraunhofer Institute — and solar installations, including the world’s largest PV plant at the time, owned by the Juwi Group.
Solar Flags at Schools - Sponsored by the City of Anaheim, California
For the City of Anaheim’s electric utility – Anaheim Public Utilities – EcoMotion managed the selection of elementary school sites and the installation of eight, 1 kW AC “Solar Flags” as a demonstration project. At each site, EcoMotion organized “solar rallies” that involved the entire school, performances, songs, and celebration. Just as the American flag reminds us each and every day of our great country, the Solar Flags bring renewable energy onto the campus as an everyday reminder for students and teachers of the power of the sun, and the promise of a truly sustainable society. EcoMotion program enhancements include website monitoring and ongoing teacher training.
And imagine the leverage of such a program! EcoMotion engaged Rahus Institute and developed a simple solar curriculum to accompany the Flags. “Have you had a solar conversation with your parents?” “Got a good, sunny roof?” Students go home and check it out with their parents. “Got a power bill?” While the Solar Flags on eight Anaheim campuses are small in terms of solar generating capacity, their message is profound as it extended into the community.
The Solar Alley at Long Beach Airport Long Beach, California - Long Beach Airport Solar Alley
For New York environmental marketing company, EcoMedia, EcoMotion served as project designer and manager for a high-visibility demonstration solar project in Long Beach, California. Erected over a three-week period, and under challenging, nighttime construction conditions, the Long Beach Airport “Solar Alley” consists of six, 1 kW AC pole-mounted dual-axis trackers ranged near the baggage pick-up. They operate like water ballet… shifting positions in timed concert by degrees throughout the day. Every month, thousands of arriving passengers are greeted by the solar systems and their accompanying signage. The use of Sanyo semi-translucent, bifacial panels provides clear images of the panels as they harvest photons for the airport. Recently, the airport added a new concourse with solar, furthering its commitment to a clean power future at this gateway location.
Orange County Great Park - Irvine, California
EcoMotion served as a solar advisor for the Orange County Great Park, examining sites for solar system investments, partnerships, and demonstrations. One option under consideration was that of a community solar park, such that residents near the park could own shares of the system and be paid virtually for their power. A presentation to the Great Park Corporation included nine options for solar at the Park, from community solar to utility-scale solar, to comprehensive net zero building of all new construction and deep retrofits of all existing facilities — all requiring maximum use of the sun — to innovative demonstrations, perhaps shading the sides of sports field, or dual-axis trackers that like sunflowers track the sun throughout the day, or a pronounced entry way to the park featuring solar.
SERVICES FOR UTILITIES
Community Solar Plants
In 2012, EcoMotion developed a partnership with the Clean Energy Collective in Colorado, the leading developer of “community solar plants.” This solar option allows for apartment dwellers, renters, and those without suitable “roof real estate” to “go solar” through a community system. EcoMotion worked with Clean Energy Collective founder and CEO, Paul Spencer, to introduce his brand of community solar to California utilities… from San Diego Gas and Electric, to Anaheim, Los Angeles, Pasadena, PG&E and SMUD. In the CEC model, consumers own assets and are compensated for their power generation for 50 years. Currently, EcoMotion is working for Metro in planning for community solar within communities impacted by rail development.
Burbank Water and Power Solar System Performance Verification
For Burbank Water and Power and since 2008, EcoMotion has provided technical support for the Solar Support Rebate Program. In this capacity, the EcoMotion solar team has verified solar installations – including numbers and types of panels and inverters, etc. – and confirmed solar potential for newly constructed installations. EcoMotion worked with BWP to develop reporting procedures and requirements.
Anaheim Public Utilities Solar System Performance Verification
For Anaheim Public Utilities and since 2012, EcoMotion’ solar team has verified solar installations – including numbers and types of panels and inverters, etc. – and confirmed solar potential for newly constructed installations. EcoMotion worked with APU to develop reporting procedures and requirements and continues to flag issues from the field.
In addition to solar field verifications, EcoMotion supports APU in different situations, one involving the Trider Apartment Complex in Anaheim where a solar system installation was hugely out of line. We found that its installer was grossly unqualified and the installation was unsafe and largely inoperable. EcoMotion inspected the system, reported its deficiencies to APU and the owner, and then made arrangements on behalf of the owner with a reputable installer to repair the system and support the owner through a challenging lawsuit.