1.6 Megawatts of Energy Storage Coming to Pittsburg Unified School District

1.6 Megawatts of Energy Storage Coming to Pittsburg Unified School District

10 Campuses to Pair New Smart Batteries with Existing Solar for Big Savings and Backup Power

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 28, 2022

MCE Press Contact:
Jenna Tenney, Marketing & Communications Manager
(925) 378-6747 | communications@mceCleanEnergy.org

SAN RAFAEL and CONCORD, Calif. — MCE is providing $715,000 to Pittsburg Unified School District to help pay for over 1.6 MW (3 MWh) of energy storage at 10 of the 13 district campuses. The batteries will be paired with 2.3 MW of existing solar and could save the school district more than $2.8M over the 7-year agreement with MCE.

The school district will receive up to $200 a month in MCE bill credits at each project site, a $0.22 per kilowatt hour credit for energy discharged to the grid between 4p.m.-9p.m., and end-to-end project development through MCE’s vetted contractor, MBL-Energy. Credits are provided to the school district in return for discharging batteries daily to help maintain grid reliability and lower costs when the grid is available. The battery will also help keep electricity on at the school sites during grid outages.

“MCE’s Energy Storage Program offers important facilities like Pittsburg Unified School District the ability to become a community resource keeping the lights on during power outages,” said Shanelle Scales-Preston, City of Pittsburg Vice-Mayor, and MCE Board Vice Chair. “The school district has been a shining example of what can be accomplished when we take advantage of holistic approaches to energy savings and sustainability. We hope others take note of the benefits of this strategy.”

MBL-Energy, a competitively-awarded Trade Ally for MCE’s Energy Storage Program, is providing engineering, procurement, and construction for the project, taking the school district’s energy storage project from start to finish. MBL will also provide operations and maintenance services after the project is completed to keep it running in optimal condition.

“The school district’s decision to use MBL’s SmartStorage technology will help the school district reduce energy costs and support the community with sustainable and reliable infrastructure,” said Robert Laubach, CEO of MBL-Energy. “This project is a testament to the leadership that has defined MCE as the first CCA in California. It is a fantastic privilege to partner with MCE and Pittsburg Unified School District to bring state of the art energy storage technology to the California grid.”

This energy storage project is the latest demonstration of Pittsburg Unified School District’s initiatives to reduce costs and their carbon footprint. The District has installed solar at all school sites and 22 electric vehicle charging stations. They have purchased six all-electric vehicles for student transportation and staff use, and two all-electric full-size buses. Their 1-acre bioswale absorbs water during heavy rains while generating renewable energy from ground-mounted solar panels and vertical wind turbines. The district is also active in MCE’s Strategic Energy Management Program which optimizes energy and building management systems, and has received over $29,000 in incentive payments and reduced energy use by 870 MWh to date, saving $245,000.

"Pittsburg Unified School District has been a pioneer in the solar energy space since 2010, installing solar panels for sustainable energy savings,” said Hitesh Haria, Associate Superintendent of Business Services at Pittsburg Unified School District. "We are now installing Battery Resiliency, that will store solar energy and will take our sustainable energy efforts into the next generation. The savings from the Battery Resiliency project will allow us to continue our efforts and re-invest in sustainable energy programs to continue expanding our focus on environmental stewardship."

For more information on Pittsburg Unified School District’s efforts please visit https://green-technology.org/images/Ancestors.pdf.

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About MCE: MCE is a groundbreaking, not-for-profit, public agency that has been setting the standard for clean energy in our communities since 2010.  MCE offers more renewable power at stable rates, significantly reducing energy-related greenhouse emissions and enabling millions of dollars of reinvestment in local energy programs. MCE is a load-serving entity supporting a 1,200 MW peak load. MCE provides electricity service and innovative programs to more than 540,000 customer accounts and more than one million residents and businesses in 37 member communities across four Bay Area counties: Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, and Solano. For more information about MCE, visit mceCleanEnergy.org, or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

About MBL-Energy: MBL-Energy is a California-based design build contractor specializing in the design and construction of solar energy projects. With 20 years of experience, MBL has designed and installed over 600 megawatts of Solar PV throughout the United States, including installations of parking canopies, roof mount, DSA, ground mount, specialty projects, trackers, and battery storage. MBL takes an innovative and efficient approach to meet the demands of small and large scale projects, both in the private and public sector. With in-house design, project management, construction, and electrical teams, MBL is able to adapt to the demands of an ever-changing solar construction industry, with efficiency and precision.

About Pittsburg Unified School District: Awarded the College Board’s Gaston Caperton Opportunity Honor Roll award in 2016 for expanding access to college, Pittsburg Unified School District (PUSD) is one of 130 school districts across the nation recognized for creating opportunities for traditionally underrepresented students. PUSD is a K-12 district serving the community of Pittsburg, California. Founded in 1933, the school system is committed to providing an excellent opportunity for all students to learn. Comprised of eight elementary schools, three junior high schools, one comprehensive high school, one alternative education high school, an adult school, independent study options, and a preschool program, the school district serves more than 11,300 students. PUSD is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, fifty minutes outside of downtown San Francisco.

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