PowerOptions and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) announced an innovative program today that will provide solar power and battery storage solutions to nonprofit and government institutions in New England, allowing them to maximize energy cost savings as well as store the electricity produced by solar and use it when it's needed most.
As part of the new program, SunPower will construct and operate solar facilities on customer sites and provide power from the facilities under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). Customers will have no upfront costs or maintenance responsibilities and pay a fixed price for the electricity, which is typically below the utility-delivered price for power. State and federal incentives will also help minimize the price of electricity under a contract with strong customer protections.
Customers will also have an option for battery storage with SunPower's Helix™ Storage solution to store solar energy for use during peak periods to help further protect members against paying high utility demand charges.
"This is a huge step forward for our solar efforts and an innovative solution that helps nonprofits get access to the least expensive energy when they need it most," said PowerOptions President and CEO Cynthia Arcate. "Under our past programs, we developed about 65 megawatts of solar for our members. This agreement allows us to continue that work but with the added benefit of energy storage with the leading commercial solar provider in the nation. We're very pleased to be working with SunPower on this very important program."
"By working with PowerOptions, SunPower looks forward to offering members reliable, fully-integrated solar and storage solutions designed to maximize their energy savings," said Chris Cantone, SunPower's commercial director for the East Coast. "New England is a progressive market for renewable energy and SunPower is invested in its growth with an office in Boston, home to about 20 solar experts that help customers in the Northeast see the complete benefits of solar."
PowerOptions members include some of the most prestigious area nonprofit institutions, such as hospitals, universities and museums, as well as social service agencies, housing authorities, and cities and towns.
"The City of Melrose has been considering a solar canopy for the parking lot at Melrose High School, and this new PowerOptions program provides an opportunity for us to move quickly with our project to take advantage of current incentives," said Melrose Energy Manager Martha Grover. "Since 2012, PowerOptions has worked with the city to save money on our energy supply, and we trust their negotiating skills and expertise to offer us a program with a good price and beneficial contract terms."
PowerOptions selected SunPower in a competitive RFP procurement process. "We reviewed proposals from many of the biggest area solar providers, and SunPower demonstrated a commitment to partner with PowerOptions members, both large and small, to provide optimal solar solutions and the qualifications to complete these large projects, from design through construction to completion," added Arcate.
Established in 1998, PowerOptions is a nonprofit energy buying consortium that delivers cost savings and predictability to nonprofits and the public sector in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. With nearly 500 members, our collective strength yields optimal pricing and stability for our entire membership of organizations both large and small. Any nonprofit or public entity is eligible to join PowerOptions and benefit from our programs for electricity supply, natural gas supply and solar. For more information, go to www.poweroptions.org.
As one of the world's most innovative and sustainable energy companies, SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) provides a diverse group of customers with complete solar solutions and services. Residential customers, businesses, governments, schools and utilities around the globe rely on SunPower's more than 30 years of proven experience. From the first flip of the switch, SunPower delivers maximum value and superb performance throughout the long life of every solar system. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, SunPower has dedicated, customer-focused employees in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. For more information about how SunPower is changing the way our world is powered, visit www.sunpower.com.