USA: Conergy enables cost savings for high schools through installation of PV systems

PV solution provider builds 1.2 MW grid-parity plants for public schools in New Mexico

Hamburg / Denver / Rio Rancho, 11 June 2013 – Students of the V. Sue Cleveland and Rio Rancho High Schools in Rio Rancho, New Mexico will be learning with clean solar power. This learning is made possible by the two solar power plants Conergy is currently installing on the school campuses. The two solar installations will total 1.2 megawatts. PV solution and service provider, Conergy is acting as general contractor for this project and is responsible for the planning and engineering of the project as well as for its construction and the supply of the components. Investor and plant operator is Washington Gas Energy Systems.

The two public schools will be self-consuming the generated electricity via a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Washington Gas Energy Systems. The more than 8,200 solar modules installed on 4.7 kilometers of Conergy SolarLinea mounting systems will produce around 4.3 million kilowatt hours of clean solar power every year. That is the same amount of energy as approximately 43,000 laptops running 8 hours a day for a year. When completed the installations are expected to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to recycling approximately 1,140 tons of waste instead of sending it to a landfill, or taking 632 passenger cars off the road for one year.

USA: High schools to produce 80% of electricity needs with Conergy plant
"We are very proud that our two high schools will be supplied with renewable power and that we will be making a valuable contribution to sustainability in our community," said Al Sena, responsible for building management at the Rio Rancho public schools. "This will allow our students to experience the benefits of clean power generation, first hand. With the solar installations, we cover about 80% of our total annual power requirements while cutting our electricity costs at the same time – without major upfront investment."

Grid parity achieved – 3rd party financing and local consumption are the future
"In many regions of the USA, grid parity has been achieved for end consumers, and solar power is already considerably cheaper today than power from the grid," said Anthony Fotopoulos, Managing Director of Conergy USA. "Local consumption via power purchase agreements is the future of the American electricity market. With this electricity market model, end consumers benefit from considerable electricity cost savings from the green power – without substantial upfront costs. In the sunshine state of California, for instance, around 70% of all solar plants on private homes are already financed by third parties today; in the case of commercial power plants, the figure is over 40% – and the trend is upwards."

Washington Gas Energy Systems supports communities on their way to sustainability
Thanks to the PPAs, state institutions such as the Rio Rancho schools enjoy an electricity price guaranteed over 20 years that is clearly below the market level of electricity from the grid. The operators and investors of the plants, for their part, receive a reliable yield over the term of the PPA.

"This solar array promises to reduce the schools' carbon footprint and utility costs over the next two decades," said Sanjiv Mahan, vice president of business development at Washington Gas Energy Systems. "We are committed to working with a variety of academic institutions, from public school systems to higher education, to further sustainable energy as a viable option and a learning opportunity for students."

"Start it!" – Conergy develops customized systems solution "fit for the solar future"
With its global "Start it!" campaign, Conergy has developed customized system solutions for the requirements of the solar market of the future. In the USA, these are based on power purchase agreements whereas in Italy they take into account "Net Metering" where the amounts of electricity consumed on site, fed into the grid and drawn from the grid are offset against one another. Solar installations are cost-effective in Italy without any state subsidy in many cases after the end of the Conto Energia V scheme. Conergy has also realized numerous grid parity projects in Spain without any feed-in tariffs as well as a plant on a welfare facility in South Africa a few weeks ago and a residential home in Australia.

About Conergy

Conergy supplies complete solar energy solutions from a single source. As a leading PV Solution and Service Provider, Conergy offers its customers tailor made, worry-free, high-performance packages – be it for private or commercial roofs or for multi-megawatt installations. Along with supplying the "hardware" – all the necessary components for a solar plant – Conergy's complete solutions also include a full range of related solar services from architectural planning to yield insurance providing total piece of mind.

Conergy sells its system solutions around the world. Being active in over 40 countries across 5 continents, and with subsidiaries in 15 countries, Conergy ensures customers are never far from a Conergy expert. In the mature European solar markets, the PV solution and service provider calls upon an unrivalled network of premium quality installers, integrators, solar specialists and wholesalers to gain access to the rooftops and thus support homeowners, private investors and commercial businesses in their efforts to "go solar". In the emerging photovoltaic markets, the solar experts are focusing on large-scale solar plants, collaborating with international and local investors. As a result, around three-quarters of the group's sales came from international markets in 2012, a trend which looks set to continue as Conergy consolidates its leading position in the global market.

For its turnkey solar plants all around the world, Conergy's exacting standards apply. This is backed by a continuous quality assurance process which far exceeds the usual market standards and whose quality has been certified and confirmed by TV Rheinland. In the project's design and development phase, Conergy's experts manage the planning and financing; and after the plant has been constructed and commissioned they take care of monitoring, maintenance, operational management of the plant and offer comprehensive warranty services and insurance.

Conergy is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and currently employs around 1,200 staff worldwide. Since its foundation in 1998, the company has produced and sold more than 2.2 gigawatts of clean solar energy and planned and constructed solar power plants with a capacity of more than 420 megawatts. This means that in 2012 Conergy plants generated more electricity than one nuclear plant.

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