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DSD’s 5.67 MW Solar Portfolio for San Bernardino City Unified School District Receives Top Project of the Year Award from Environment + Energy Leader
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — July 18, 2023 — DSD Renewables’ (DSD) 16-project, 5.67 MW solar canopy portfolio for San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD), the seventh largest school district in California, has earned Top Project of the Year designation in the 2023 Environment + Energy Leader Awards. The Environment + Energy Leader Awards program aims to commend excellence in products and projects that deliver significant energy and environmental benefits.
The portfolio, DSD’s largest ever for a school district, is a critical step in allowing SBCUSD to achieve its goal of transitioning to 100% renewable energy at all district facilities by 2024. The projects are estimated to generate 9,546 MWh of clean energy annually across 16 schools. Fourteen of the sites are complete and operational, and are currently offsetting 100% of the sites’ energy needs on average with solar energy. The remaining two sites are expected to be online by the end of 2023.
Fourteen of the sites are complete and operational, and are currently offsetting 100% of the sites’ energy needs on average with solar energy.
“This portfolio brings tremendous benefit to the school district,” says Thomas Pace, Director of Facilities Planning & Development at SBCUSD. “Thanks to the hard work from the team at DSD, this portfolio will contribute to the $60 million dollars in savings we’ve estimated inelectricity costs over the next 30 years, which we’ll be able to re-invest into upgrading classrooms and other campus facilities. It’s really a big win for the district that will provide residual benefits for all of our faculty, students, and staff.”
Over the course of development, DSD worked to overcome a variety of challenges, such as designing for unique wind and seismic conditions, as well as meeting requirements under California Division of the State Architect’s (DSA) newer and robust regulations. Soil and wind loading characteristics at some of the sites violated special hazard zones, so the DSD team quickly adapted with new design updates. At one site, DSD installed a curb under a solar canopy near handicap parking spots, which was required by the DSA and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
“For our largest project for a school district, this portfolio certainly came with unique and unforeseen challenges,” says Ben Jones, EVP of Canopy Design & Structural Engineering at DSD. “But ultimately, our dedication, flexibility, and experience allowed us to overcome those hurdles and deliver valuable, cost-effective projects to the school district that will help them reach their sustainability goals. It’s really a testament to the commitment of both our team and the district for making these projects come to life, and to be selected as an E+E Leader Top Project of the Year is truly an honor.”
In addition to site-specific challenges, much of the development took place during the pandemic, a time when costs for materials like steel were high. DSD worked closely with the district to lock in cost-effective project pricing and keep the project moving forward.
The hard work and collaboration that went into these projects, along with the exceptional impact it will provide, have made it a Top Project of the Year.
About DSD Renewables
DSD Renewables (DSD) is transforming the way organizations harness clean energy while building a more sustainable future. With unparalleled capabilities including development, structured financing, project acquisition and long-term asset ownership, DSD accelerates the deployment of renewable energy resources and creates significant value for our commercial, industrial, and municipal customers and partners. Backed by world-leading financial partners like BlackRock Real Assets and rooted in our founding at GE, our team brings a distinct combination of ingenuity, rigor, and accountability to every project we manage, acquire, own, and maintain. To learn more, visit DSDRenewables.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
About San Bernardino City Unified School District
San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) is taking a leading role in the journey towards sustainability in education. With a commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy across our more than 70 school and administrative sites, we’re actively building a greener and more sustainable future for our students and community. This pioneering initiative goes beyond education, it underpins our dedication to environmental stewardship, shaping a cleaner, greener future for generations to come. To learn more about our renewable energy commitment and follow our progress, visit us at sbcusd.com.
About the Environment + Energy Leader Awards
For over a decade, the Environment + Energy Leader Awards have celebrated excellence in the world of environmental, sustainability and energy management. Award recipients are acknowledged as industry leaders, and featuring a Top Project or Top Product of the Year Award badge signifies their outstanding contributions. Companies seeking sustainable and energy management solutions trust that E+E Product of the Year Award winners offer a comprehensive array of vetted products to guide their decision-making. Project of the Year Award winners exemplify how sustainability and energy management projects can successfully enhance the profitability of other companies.
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