Companies partner to save on energy costs and enhance STEM curriculum
Lawrence Family Development, Inc. (LFD), a 501 (c)3 (nonprofit) that includes four major programming areas—including a Massachusetts Commonwealth charter school district that supports language and cultural values important to families in the Lawrence community—recently contracted Solect Energy, the Commonwealth's leading commercial installer of solar energy systems, and PowerOptions of Boston, MA to install a 119 kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar system. The installation will allow Lawrence Family Development, Inc. to reduce its energy costs and explore innovative energy methods.
Lawrence Family Development, Inc. is dedicated to educating students ages four through adults of all ages in the City of Lawrence. LFD's charter school has 720 students from early kindergarten through grade eight. The school launched its new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Center in the fall of 2015, initiating its exploration into solar energy.
"We were thrilled that our Board of Directors investigated and then selected Solect Energy for our new solar installation," said Ralph Carrero, Lawrence Family Development Director/Superintendent. "We have a long-term goal of developing green, ecologically sound utility options on campus, so solar is the perfect opportunity to not only fulfill our goal but also reduce utility costs and provide new technology for students to learn about as a segment of our STEM curriculum."
The solar array at LFDCS was financed and constructed through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Solect and PowerOptions. Solect owns and operates the solar array, and sells the power generated back to the nonprofit at a reduced, fixed rate for the duration of the 20-year agreement. PowerOptions Members pay for the power generated from the array at a cost far below their current delivered price.
"We were more than happy to work with Lawrence Family Development, Inc. on its new solar installation," said Dan Terry, Director of Business Development at Solect Energy. "We are always happy to provide non-profits with solar energy, as it provides ample benefits to the organization, its students and staff, and the environment. It is especially exciting that LFD will be able to take advantage of the technological aspect of the array and incorporate it into its curriculum."
The solar system is of the latest Lawrence Family Development, Inc. green initiatives. The non-profit's alternative youth programs build houses in Lawrence neighborhoods and consider lower-cost energy programs as part of the design. Additionally, the Lawrence Family Development, Inc.'s charter school has onsite-garden beds as part of its STEM Center.
"Thanks to the help of Solect Energy and PowerOptions, we will now experience the next step in our journey toward sustainability—and the countless benefits that come with it—through the solar array," added Carrero.
About Lawrence Family Development, Inc.
Lawrence Family Development, Inc. was founded in 1992 by the Board of Directors of the City of Lawrence Youth Commission (LYC). Its efforts were built on the roots and hopes of programs in: youth education and career direction, empowerment of urban parents and leadership training for promising new leaders. A strong commitment to these goals, intentional planning and a belief in the capacity of new immigrants to help build a better community led to the evolution of purposeful programs and close to twenty-four years of contribution to positive change for the people of Lawrence. Today there are four major components of the work which Lawrence Family Development, Inc. does: The Maria del Pilar Quintana Family Center, Alternative Youth Development Programs (YouthBuild-Lawrence, Safe and Successful Schools Initiative, AmeriCorps), Lawrence Family Development Charter School, and LFD Preferred Provider for Targeted Assistance. For more information, visit http://lfdcs.org/.
About Solect Energy
Solect is a full-service solar photovoltaic (PV) project developer and installer based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, delivering smart solar and energy management solutions to help businesses and organizations reduce energy costs. As an industry leader in commercial-scale solar energy, Solect takes a practical approach to the development, installation and on-going support of each system. We partner closely with our customers, providing strong financial insight and solar technology expertise to optimize their investment while creating a positive impact on the environment. Solect currently has installed over 57 MW (megawatts) of commercial PV systems, with a primary focus on commercial, light industrial and institutional properties in New England. For more information, visit http://www.solect.com or follow us on Twitter at @SolectSolar.