Proposed Business Case: Public School Model

Rich East High School

Rich East High School serves more than 1,100 students in Park Forest, a southern suburb of Chicago. The building is a one story brick structure with several different wings, each built at different times and utilizing different roof construction. It is anticipated that the roof will be replaced within three years or to coincide with solar installation.

The proposed system is comprised of several rooftop sub-arrays distributed over eight different roof sections, as well as a number of carport arrays over existing parking lots.  The total proposed solar capacity is 1,640 kW, striking a balance between installation types and overall cost. The system design is a challenge, with carports being significantly more expensive than rooftop. However, the final proposed business case calls for a developer-owned system with a financial model that allows for a good return for the developer and host site. The project also offers learning opportunities for students.

Community Solar

Community solar is a solar photovoltaic (PV) installation that provides energy, financial benefits, or both to multiple participants. Participants, also called subscribers, can buy or lease a share of the community solar installation and receive credits on their electricity bill for the power generated by that share. Subscribers can be households, businesses or anyone with an electric bill

System Design

The proposed system design incorporates nine different roof segments, two flush mounted and seven fixed at a 100 tilt, incorporating 2,113 panels and 687 kW of solar. An additional twelve carport segments that incorporate 2,932 panels and 953 kW of solar is also proposed. The system design was challenging because of multiple and varied roof segments and the higher cost of carport arrays. A balance was struck with an average installation cost of $2.27 per watt generating more than 2GWhs annually.

Business Model

The proposed model recommends a developer-owned system, where the developer, builds and maintains the array, as well as acquire and manages subscribers. The school would support subscriber acquisition through marketing to student families and employees. The school then receives lease payments and energy savings from their anchor subscription. Fundraising can be considered to offset the cost of the school’s subscription, producing further savings for the district.

Solar Developer/System Owner Metrics

25-Year Costs…………………………………………..   ($4,986,743)

25-Year Revenues……………………………………   $6,127,421

25-Year Net Benefits……………………………….   $1,140,678

25-Year Net Present Value (NPV)…………….   $75,105

Return On Investment (ROI)……………………   22.9%

Payback Period…………………………………….….   4.4 years

Internal Rate of Return (IRR)……………….....   8.9%     

SREC Value (1 MW-2 MW Block)…………….    $45.00/MWh*

SREC Adder Value-100% Low-Income.…….   $0

Host Site Metrics - Anchor Subscription & Lease

25-Year Costs…………………………………………..   ($690,314)

25-Year Revenues……………………………………   $1,107,541

25-Year Net Benefits……………………………….   $417,227

25-Year Net Present Value (NPV)…………….   $87,694

Payback Period…………………………………….….   0

Average annual earnings over 25 years…..   $16,689

SREC Value (1 MW-2 MW Block)…………….    $45.00/MWh*

SREC Adder Value-100% Low-Income.…….   $0

*All SREC and SREC Adder values are assumptions. See Overview for more details.

Documents

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