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Classified in: Oil industry, Environment, Science and technology
Subject: PDT

Solano County Begins $41 Million Energy Infrastructure Upgrade Through Alliance with ENGIE North America

Paid for Through Energy Savings: Comprehensive Energy Program Includes Microgrids with Solar, Battery; Lighting and HVAC Upgrades, and EV Charging Stations

FAIRFIELD, Calif. and HOUSTON, May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Solano County and renewable energy services provider, ENGIE North America (ENGIE), broke ground today on a $41 million new energy infrastructure upgrade program as part of a comprehensive sustainability alliance. The new energy infrastructure includes 3.4 MW of solar, four sustainable microgrids, with 1.9 MW / 7.6 MWh of battery energy storage with microgrid controls. It also provides emergency generators, county-wide LED lighting retrofits, essential HVAC equipment replacements, and 54 Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging ports at six locations.

The program will enable Solano County to reduce its utility expenditures and its exposure to risk of rising utility rates. "The County pays nearly three million a year in utility costs," says Megan Greve, Director of General Services for the County. "That is for the entire county and not just the project sites. This program with ENGIE will offset about $2 million of that."

The County will achieve an offset of more than $60 million in utility bills over 20 years. These energy cost savings are expected to pay for most of the new and upgraded power infrastructure. The energy generation will produce nearly 90 percent of the county's energy needs at the installation locations.

"Solano County currently relies heavily on the power grid, and our rates went up eight percent this year," says Greve. "This new program figured in annual increases of 4.5 percent as part of its savings calculations, so the benefits could be even greater than anticipated."

ENGIE will administer the program, which includes installation, maintenance, and limited replacement projects. "ENGIE anticipates a long alliance with Solano County, as our contract includes 20 years of operations and maintenance, with a 20-year savings guarantee provided by our Customer Care team," says Stefaan Sercu Managing Director, ENGIE. "This means that if the new infrastructure's power generation doesn't meet certain targets, ENGIE will pay the County back."

Solano County's program will create resilient energy generation, enabling the county to maintain power for critical operations during power outages and public safety power shutoff events (PSPS). For the past few years, Solano County and its citizens have been impacted by the effects of wildfires that have triggered shutoffs. Once the new infrastructure is in place, whenever there is a power outage, important county facilities can remain operational at the microgrid locations. This ensures continuity of service to many county residents, including its most vulnerable citizens. The projects include installations at the Health and Social Services complex in Fairfield, the Fairfield Civic Center Library, the Juvenile Detention Center in Fairfield, the Vallejo campus, and the William J. Carroll Government Center in Vacaville.

This program marks Solano County's emergence as a regional leader in environmental stewardship. It reduces the county's carbon footprint, and supports its sustainability goals, eliminating an estimated five-plus million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The project provides county residents with streaming project data, a citizen science project, STEAM activities for the after-school program, and brings a CivicSpark Fellow to the County to work on assessing organic waste disposal needs and capacity in September.

The project also supports students County-wide in collaboration with the County Office of Education. Supporting and celebrating students in STEM through the County's Science and Engineering Fair, the Summer Girls Robotics Camps, and internships for students in the JCSS Construction Trades pathways. 

About Solano County
Located in Northern California, Solano County is the easternmost county in the seven-county San Francisco Bay Area, and comprises 822 square miles of land. It has a population of about 447,000, with its county seat in Fairfield, CA.

About ENGIE North America
Based in Houston, Texas, ENGIE North America Inc. is a regional hub of ENGIE, a global leader in low-carbon energy and services. ENGIE (ENGI), is listed on the Paris and Brussels Stock Exchanges. Together with our 170,000 employees around the globe, our customers, partners and stakeholders, we are committed to accelerate the transition toward a carbon-neutral world, through reduced energy consumption and more environmentally-friendly solutions. Inspired by our purpose ("raison d'être"), we reconcile economic performance with a positive impact on people and the planet, building on our key businesses (gas, renewable energy, services) to offer competitive solutions to our customers. In North America, ENGIE helps our clients achieve their energy efficiency, reliability, and ultimately, their sustainability goals, as we work together to shape a sustainable future. We accomplish this through energy efficiency projects, providing energy supply (including renewables and natural gas), and the development, construction and operation of renewable energy assets (wind, solar, storage and more). For more information on ENGIE North America, please visit our LinkedIn page or Twitter feed, https://www.engie-na.com/ and https://www.engie.com.

Media Contacts:
Solano County:
Matthew A. Davis
Senior Management Analyst / Public Communications Officer
Solano County Administrator's Office
Direct (707) 784-6111
[email protected]

ENGIE North America:
Michael Clingan,
[email protected],
(832) 745-6057

SOURCE ENGIE North America

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