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World’s first solar hot air PPA announced

With no capital investment, Sanborn Regional High School saves $17,000, cuts CO² emissions and displaces 13,500 gallons of fuel oil yearly

| | Oct 31, 2011 | 4:28 pm
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With no capital investment, Sanborn Regional High School saves $17,000, cuts CO² emissions and displaces 13,500 gallons of fuel oil yearly

Sanborn Regional School District in Kingston, New Hampshire, in the United States, has announced signing the world’s first power purchase agreement (PPA) for ultra-efficient solar hot air, which will reduce the fuel oil heating bills of the school by at least $17,000 annually, with no capital investment required by the school district.

The 10-year contract, which is incentivised with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds, enables the Sanborn Regional School District to receive 1,400-mmBTU’s of thermal energy, which is equivalent to paying $2.50 per gallon of fuel oil. According to the announcement, the school will not only save energy but will also reap benefits for the environment from a displacement of 13,500 gallons of fuel oil and a reduction of 48 tonnes of CO² emissions, annually.

The project, reportedly, features four separate Lubi wall-mounted solar hot air collectors by Enerconcept Technologies, Magog, Quebec. The collectors, which aesthetically appear as walls of windows, will cover 8,000-square feet of the school’s southern walls and use a black metal absorber. The collectors will provide a majority of the school’s heated make-up air requirements and partially space heat the 12,000-square-foot gym. The Lubi uses 1 x 3-foot translucent glazing panels with a patented perforation design, resulting in, what is claimed to be the world’s most efficient solar device, according to Canadian Standards Association (CSA-International) certification tests.

Sanborn Regional High School. The solar collector will save the school $17,000 in fuel oil costs this winter with no capital investment by the school district.

“We’re excited about this project, because it won’t detract from our school’s appearance, offers a long-term alternative energy savings strategy and helps stabilise the tremendous costs of heating a 220,000-square-foot facility,” said Carol Coppola, the district’s business administrator.

Facilitating the project is a limited joint-partnership between Enerconcept, PPA provider and financier, Revolution Energy, Dover, NH, and Shift Energy, a Biddeford, Maine-based manufacturer’s representative that will manage a November commencement of the wall-mounted solar collectors’ installation and connection to the school’s HVAC system, the announcement revealed. The partnership’s solar air heating PPA strategy is now attracting other school administrators across the northeast United States looking for energy-saving alternatives without a capital investment, revealed to Clay Mitchell, principal, Revolution Energy.

Christian Vachon, President, Enerconcept Technologies, explained that Enerconcept will provide the equipment and engineering design, and Shift Energy will manage the installation. Revolution Energy is to arrange the conventional bank loan, own the equipment, and receive a 30% tax grant and a first-year 100% equipment depreciation from the ARRA, which will be passed on to a project’s financing institution. Revolution Energy will also be responsible for equipment maintenance over the 10-year contract. The Lubi, however, reportedly, requires no maintenance.

Mitchell pointed out that when the 10-year contract expires, the school has an option to purchase the system at a fair market value well below the new system’s cost. Fuel oil prices are expected to climb in the future, so throughout the 30-year lifecycle of the solar collector, the school district could conceivably save more than $1.5 million in energy, displace 400,000 gallons of fuel oil and eliminate 1,440-tonnes of CO² emissions annually. emissions from the environment.

Coppola said that she was excited about the educational value of the project, as Revolution Energy is inviting Sanborn vocational technology, environmental and science classes to participate in the installation. Revolution will also provide web-based learning modules, personal presentations from company principals, and teacher curriculum development help on renewable energy for integrated middle and high school level classroom experiences.

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