Saturday, September 6th 2014

CSI_logo-web-225We are thrilled to share the news that the Coatesville Solar Initiative has received final approval from the Coatesville School District, meaning our friends at Keare’s Electrical Contracting will begin construction on this 9.1MW solar PV project soon!

From the Daily Local News:

“Years of negotiations and anxious anticipation for a final decision, Coatesville Area School Board members approved the remaining agreements with Coatesville Solar Initiative, Inc. for the development of a solar field.

“I can’t express how happy I am to come to this point,” school board president Neil Campbell said before the board approved three items related to the solar project. “It is my hope that in the next few months you are going to see a major construction project that will run through this main campus to that build, which will benefit this community.”

School board members unanimously approved a 25-year power purchase agreement at a fixed rate of about $.0765 per kilowatt hour for the first three years of the agreement. The remaining 22 years, the school district would pay “a discounted market price subject to specified floor and ceiling prices thereafter,” according to the school board agenda.

The school district will never pay more than the ceiling price and if those rates fall between the floor and ceiling, the school district will receive a 10 percent discount on energy.

Projected costs over the next 25 years show in 2039 the school district could pay about 3 cents less per kilowatt hours using solar verses “grid” energy – projected to reach $.16 per kilowatt hour.

The CSI solar project is a 9.1 megawatt solar farm that will be installed on 46 acres of property just south of Dogwood Lane and Scott Drive and north of Coatesville Area High School in Caln Township. The school district was expected to purchase about 6 megawatts of power for the high school.

The board also approved granting CSI an easement through the high school campus to gain access to the construction site and an agreement for CSI to provide the school district with “added benefits” – installing outdoor lighting, providing the school district with an electric car and three charging stations for district use, solar education kiosks and an education center – at no cost to the school district.

CASD is receiving a onetime payment of $125,000 as a part of the easement agreement.

School district’s special legal counsel from Rhoads & Sinon, said the installation of lighting at the high school and Friendship Elementary must be done within 6 months of the “commercial operation date of the solar facility.” The education center, charging kiosks and electric vehicle must be provided to the school district in 36 months of the operation date.

According to Coatesville Solar Initiative (CSI) representatives working on the project, $15 million will be spent locally, and a local jobs program was developed to hire two or three residents who live in the nearby Carver Court development.

CSI representatives said not much has changed from the original agreement presented last year. They said the per kilowatt hour price and the additional benefits for the school district remain the same.”

Read more on the Coatesville Solar Initiative website.