2016 Capital Project FAQs
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- What is included in the 2016 capital project?
- Why do schools propose capital projects?
- If we’re taking good care of our school buildings, why do we need a capital project?
- Who decided what would be included in the capital project proposal?
- Why is Broadalbin-Perth proposing a capital project now?
- Why does Broadalbin-Perth need a capital project to complete this work?
- How would the capital project improve student safety?
- What does “21st century learning” mean?
- Why does it seem like we’re moving away from the basics – the “3 Rs” (reading, writing and arithmetic)? Isn’t the kind of education previous generations had “good enough?”
- Why move the district offices to the high school library and build a new library to replace it?
- Why are several athletics and physical education items included in the capital project?
- Why is construction of the pre-K pod at the Perth campus not included in the capital project?
- Why has the district produced and mailed so many publications related to the capital project?
- When would the project be complete?
- Who would benefit from the project?
- What happens if residents do not approve the capital project?
- Where can I get more information about the capital project proposal and the May 17 vote?
- How can a $39.7 million project result in only a $55 tax increase for a home valued at $100,000?
- Approximately 80 percent of the capital project may be paid by the state, but doesn’t that money come from my pocket as well?
- Why do the cost estimates for individual project elements seem so high?
- What happens if energy savings from the Perth solar project are less than anticipated?
- What happens if bids for this work come to more than $39.7 million?
- How does the proposed capital project affect the district’s budget proposal for the 2016-17 school year?
- How would the proposed capital project affect the district’s annual budget?
- If the school buildings are reorganized, what would the new grade configuration be?
- Why is the district proposing to move sixth grade back to the elementary level?
- How would reorganizing our schools make the district more efficient?
- What would happen to the existing specialized classrooms?
Perth Solar Array
- Why isn’t the Perth solar array part of the 2016 capital project?
- Where will the solar array be located?
- How big will the solar array be?
- What security measures will be taken to protect the solar array?
- When will the solar array be operational?
- How much money will the solar array COST the district?
- How much money will the solar array SAVE the district?
- How will the solar array save the district money?
A: If approved by voters on May 17, the $39.7 million capital project proposal would address health and safety concerns and urgent infrastructure needs, modernize learning spaces, and create operational efficiencies. Highlights include expanding parking and reconfiguring traffic flow at both campuses and reorganizing the schools to create a pre-K through grade 6 elementary school at the Perth campus and a grades 7-12 secondary school at the Broadalbin campus. Click here for project highlights.
A: Because it is funded largely by state building aid and bonds, a capital project enables a school district to invest in its facilities – to make repairs, renovations and updates necessary to address health, safety, learning and working environment issues – with significantly less financial pressure upon local taxpayers and school budgets. Specifically, without a capital project, Broadalbin-Perth would miss the opportunity to have approximately 80 percent of project costs covered by state building aid – a significant amount of money for the district and local taxpayers. Without a capital project, school districts would have to find ways to fund this work through their annual operating budgets with no state building aid incentive. In addition to addressing immediate building and campus concerns, capital projects are also used to prevent future, often more costly repairs and reconstruction and to save money through improved energy and operational efficiencies.
A: Your home gets constant wear and tear, both outdoors from the sun and snow and indoors from your daily activities. Multiply that hundreds of times and you’ll have an idea of what happens to Broadalbin-Perth schools, which serve more than 1,700 active youngsters plus faculty, staff and community members daily.
After 20 years of repeated freezing and thawing, roofing starts to fail. After 40 or more years of constant use, HVAC systems become unreliable and inefficient, doors and windows no longer fit properly, and even structures built to be used by hundreds of children daily just plain wear out.
Our buildings have become outdated in other ways as well. School safety and security expectations have changed. Students and teachers use more technology to learn, communicate and share information than they once did, and school infrastructure needs to keep pace with all of these changes.
A: New York state requires all school districts to thoroughly examine their facilities with the help of architects and engineers and complete a building conditions survey every five years. The survey team conducts a visual inspection of all school buildings and grounds to assess the current conditions of all program spaces (i.e. classrooms, gymnasiums), major building systems and their components, and site amenities, such as parking lots and lighting. The purpose of the survey is to assess the buildings for evidence of structural failure or deterioration and to determine or re-examine their useful life, need for repair and maintenance, and need for reconstruction and replacement.
Broadalbin-Perth’s 2010 building conditions survey, conducted by architect Ashley McGraw, showed more than $18 million worth of infrastructure needs. At the time of the 2010 building conditions survey, district leaders worked with committees of faculty, staff and community members and eventually determined the community could not support a significant capital project in the midst of the recession.
During the subsequent years, members of the district maintenance staff have done an admirable job keeping aging systems operational. However, delaying addressing the needs identified on the 2010 building conditions survey has not made them go away. On the contrary: The district’s 2015 building conditions survey, conducted by architect CSArch, showed approximately $25 million worth of infrastructure needs. Items that the district could not immediately address through its annual operating budget have been included in the capital project proposal.
Additional elements of the capital project were informed by the work of the 2028 Task Force, a group of 60 students, parents, teachers, faculty, staff, administrators, community members, and representatives from business and higher education, which provided the ideas for the district’s long-range plan, “Innovate.” District leaders, architects and engineers also met with committees of faculty, staff, parents and students to solicit their ideas, and provided opportunities for all community members to participate in the planning process during Board of Education meetings, workshops and public forums that took place throughout the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.
A: Because of the economic recession, Broadalbin-Perth already delayed most of the $18 million worth of needed facilities work identified on the district’s 2010 building conditions survey, conducted by architect Ashley McGraw. B-P’s 2015 building conditions survey, conducted by architect CSArch, showed approximately $25 million worth of needed facilities work.
Based on this information, the district estimates that every year it delays addressing these identified needs adds an additional $1.4 million to the cost of caring for district facilities. This increase can be attributed to the continued deterioration of systems and infrastructure, additional items aging past their useful life, and the escalating costs of capital construction work due to inflation.
The district is also competing with other local school districts — many of whom have recently passed capital projects — for the services of area contractors who would complete the capital construction work. State law requires school districts to collect bids for all work to be done as part of a capital project. However, very little work can be done when school is in session from September to June. Squeezing projects into two summer months and competing with other school districts to use that time window tends to drive bids up. If Broadalbin-Perth waits to address its facilities needs, contractors will likely have more than enough work from other school districts to keep them busy and they will have less incentive to submit low bids.
Delaying the urgent infrastructure work included in the capital project proposal also risks the catastrophic failure of an essential system. For example, the district’s phone system, a necessity for school safety and security, was out of service for 72 hours in late February while the district’s instructional technology team tracked down hard-to-find parts for the out-of-date system.
Replacing the district phone system is expected to cost approximately $240,000. If Broadalbin-Perth had to replace the system on an emergency basis, 100 percent of that cost would have to come out of the general operating budget – a significant unplanned expenditure that would likely mean mid-year cuts to programs for students. However, replacing the system as part of a capital project means that state building aid would pay for approximately 80 percent of total costs.
A: Most of the items included in the capital project represent one-time expenditures that would be next to impossible to pay for out of the district’s annual operating budget, which residents vote on each May. State lawmakers recognize this and have long offered financial incentives in the form of state building aid for school districts to take care of their facilities through capital projects.
State building aid is only available on work completed as part of a capital project. It is not available for facilities work completed as part of a school district’s annual operating budget.
If voters approve the capital project proposal, Broadalbin-Perth’s financial advisor expects that approximately 80 percent of all project costs will be paid for by state aid.
A: In addition to improving building security through the construction of new entrances that restrict unauthorized visitor access to the rest of the buildings, the most significant improvement to student safety would come outside of the schools themselves.
Parking and traffic flow at both campuses have long been the source of serious safety concerns for students, parents and visitors. Insufficient parking at the Perth campus necessitates visitors parking across the street at Perth Bible Church or parking along busy State Highway 107, which lacks sidewalks and is perilous for pedestrians – in the past, students have been struck by vehicles while crossing Rt. 107, and there have been far too many close calls. At the Broadalbin campus, unclear traffic patterns and poor sight lines compound the problems of insufficient parking near the building and adjacent athletic venues.
If residents approve the capital project and land purchase proposals on May 17, traffic flow at both campuses would be completely redesigned to more clearly define travel routes for buses, faculty and staff, and parents and visitors. Parking capacity at the Perth campus would more than double, and an additional 130 parking spaces would be added at the Broadalbin campus, including seasonal parking adjacent to baseball, softball, tennis and cross country facilities.
A: In the past, a primary role of schools was to transmit information to students. Small classrooms, lectures, and desks in neatly lined rows served schools well in the early and mid-20th century, which is when Broadalbin-Perth schools were originally designed and built.
In the 21st century, the challenge for schools is very different than it was 60 years ago. Today, information is readily available thanks to the prevalence of technology. One small computer or smartphone holds infinitely more information than any traditional textbook, lecture, or library of the past.
Teachers now teach students how to access, sort, filter and use the information that could otherwise easily inundate them. Classroom spaces must allow students to collaborate, communicate, design, create, invent, solve problems, and think critically. This is the essence of 21st century learning.
“We’re not trying to recreate what GlobalFoundries, General Electric or even FMCC has, but we can’t have 1950s-era facilities either,” said Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tomlinson. “Our classrooms need to serve as a bridge for students to the ways that modern workplaces operate. This project will help us do that.”
Q: Why does it seem like we’re moving away from the basics – the “3 Rs” (reading, writing and arithmetic)? Isn’t the kind of education previous generations had “good enough?”
A: With the advent of the Internet and the rapid advances in technology, the worldwide economy is much different than it was even 30 years ago. The developed world has increasingly moved from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy, a term popularized by management consultant Peter Drucker that refers to an economy driven by individuals with a substantial amount of theoretical knowledge, including analysts, technicians and technologists.
While there will always be a need for students to learn basic concepts and skills, including reading, writing and mathematics, modern employers expect their workers to be able to think critically, solve problems, collaborate with colleagues, and communicate clearly with customers and clients – and these expectations exist across all industries. In the past, traditional education programs have not focused on these skills enough to meet the needs of modern employers, and continuing that pattern would leave students at a disadvantage when they enter the workforce.
Employers also expect their employees to have a basic understanding of and background in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) concepts. Computers and other advanced technology are everywhere, including the kinds of jobs individuals were once able to get with only a high school diploma. For example, an auto technician trained in the 1970s or 1980s would find the inner workings of modern hybrid and electric vehicles completely foreign. And a plumber without knowledge of or access to modern diagnostic equipment would be less efficient and effective at meeting his customers’ needs – and likely lose customers as a result.
A: The transportation center, which currently houses the district offices, requires a significant amount of infrastructure work, according to the 2015 building conditions survey. However, office space is not eligible for state building aid, so the cost of renovating the district offices at their current location would be paid entirely through local property taxes.
Moving the district offices to the current high school media center accomplishes three things:
- Although still not eligible for state building aid, the cost of renovating the current high school media center to accommodate the district offices is significantly less than the projected cost of renovating and rehabilitating the district offices at the current location in the transportation center.
- Removing the district offices from the transportation center opens up classroom space for the proposed auto tech program in that building – and renovations of classroom space are eligible for state building aid.
- School libraries have been shifting away from the traditional image of a quiet study space with shelves of books – an accurate description of the current high school media center – to the kind of vibrant, interactive, technology-based center of information that Broadalbin-Perth would construct on the second floor of the new high school entrance if voters approve the proposed capital project.
A: Broadalbin-Perth is committed to educating the whole child, which includes promoting exercise and wellness at all ages. In addition to serving modified, junior varsity and varsity teams of Broadalbin-Perth’s 18 interscholastic athletic programs, as well as supporting dozens of youth commission sports programs, school gymnasiums and playing fields are also classrooms for the physical education classes that every child takes. Over time, these facilities deteriorate and need major overhauls, too.
If residents approve the capital project proposal on May 17, students in grades 7-12 would attend school at the Broadalbin campus starting with the 2019-20 school year. Therefore, the athletic facilities at this site must support three or four levels of competition for each sports program. Otherwise, the district would have to transport teams to the Perth campus for daily practices and competitions – perpetuating costly operational inefficiencies.
The capital project proposal includes replacing the 12-year-old surface of the turf field, which is beyond its useful life, and resurfacing the track. The deterioration of these facilities – which are used year-round by school and community organizations alike – increases the risk of injury for those who use them. The proposal also includes rehabilitating and adding baseball and softball fields at the Broadalbin campus and rehabilitating fields at the Perth campus for use by physical education classes and community organizations.
At the Broadalbin campus, the current auxiliary gym and fitness center would be restored to a full-sized gymnasium for use by middle school students. The fitness center would be relocated to the space currently occupied by the high school art and photography rooms, and those programs would be moved to classrooms created by dividing the current high school cafeteria.
The project also includes the construction of two buildings adjacent to existing athletic facilities. The proposed building behind the Patriot Field home bleachers would include restrooms (eliminating the expense of renting portable toilets), team locker rooms, concessions and storage, and the proposed building between the varsity baseball and softball fields would include restrooms, concessions and storage.
Q: Why is construction of the pre-K pod at the Perth campus not included in the capital project proposal?
A: If residents approve the capital project proposal on May 17, Broadalbin-Perth plans to use its $1,385,510 allocation from the state’s Smart Schools Bond Act to pay 100 percent of the costs associated with constructing the pre-K pod, including five classrooms and a common area, at the Perth campus.
New York’s Smart Schools Bond Act was approved by voters in November 2014. Each school district in the state is allotted a share of the $2 billion bond to increase Internet connectivity, purchase learning technology equipment, install high-tech security, or build or renovate facilities to accommodate a prekindergarten program.
Following discussions with community members, faculty and staff, district leaders recommended using these one-time funds to construct pre-K classrooms, presenting it as the most fiscally responsible choice over the long term; all other available options were for products or infrastructure with shorter lifespans that would eventually have to be replaced at the expense of local taxpayers.
Under the terms of the Smart Schools Bond Act, Broadalbin-Perth can only proceed with constructing the pre-K pod if residents approve the proposed capital project.
A: School districts have a legal obligation to inform voters about ballot propositions, such as the proposed capital project. Because there is so much included in the project, district leaders thought the most effective way to show voters the scope of the proposed work was through a full-color publication — instead of a two-color publication, like the annual budget newsletter.
The capital project proposal marks a watershed moment for the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District. The proposed work relates directly to the district’s long-term goals, as outlined in the “Innovate” publication. District leaders believed it was their responsibility to provide voters with complete information about the proposed capital project, including the programmatic impacts and its relation to long-term planning.
This spring, Broadalbin-Perth has mailed four publications to all district residents. The budget newsletter and postcard with required budget notice are produced and mailed each year, whereas the “Innovate” publication and capital project newsletter were one-time mailings. The district ordered 5,700 and mailed 5,000 pieces of each publication.
A: If residents approve the capital project proposal on May 17, the work would be done in phases, beginning with the most urgently needed infrastructure work as early as summer 2017. Renovations at both campuses would continue during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, with most work occurring during the school and summer breaks to limit disruptions to the learning process. The reorganized elementary and secondary schools (pre-K through grade 6 at the Perth campus, grades 7-12 at the Broadalbin campus) would open their doors for the start of the 2019-20 school year. All work related to the capital project would be complete by the end of the 2020-21 school year.
A: Students attending Broadalbin-Perth schools as of the 2019-20 school year would be the first to benefit from the capital project renovations at both campuses. Many of the proposed renovations are designed to support advances in B-P’s educational program, and research has shown that student test scores climb as much as 10.9 percent when school buildings are significantly improved. The wider community would also benefit from the project: According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 30 percent of home buyers list “school quality” as a deciding factor in their home purchase.
A: If residents do not approve the capital project on May 17, issues related to health, safety and infrastructure would remain and have the potential to disrupt students’ educational environment. Broadalbin-Perth would still have to address these issues on a case-by-case basis, and all costs for that work would have to be paid from the district’s operating budget in the same year the expenses were incurred, without any state aid reimbursement. If work has to be done on an emergency basis, it would likely be more costly and could potentially disrupt the learning process. Paying for these projects would be further complicated by the fact that the state’s tax cap law has severely limited the district’s ability to raise local taxes to support the operating budget. New York state also continues to underfund schools based on its own foundation aid formula. By funding infrastructure needs through the general fund – and not a capital project – it is possible that the district would have to cut academic programs and services for students to maintain a balanced budget.
The district would also have the option of revising the capital project and presenting voters with a different proposal at a later date. The concern here would be further wear and tear on the buildings in the meantime, which would only increase costs overall.
A: Detailed information about the capital project proposal is available on the district website, www.bpcsd.org/2016-capital-project. Residents are also encouraged to attend one of the scheduled public forums and information sessions in March, April and May; visit the 2016 Capital Project page on the district website for a complete schedule. Residents should also check their mailboxes in mid-April, when they can expect to receive a special capital project edition of the district newsletter, featuring floor plans, site maps and architect’s renderings. Facebook users should “like” the district page, and those who have an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet should download the district’s free mobile app to receive push notifications.
Residents who have unanswered questions about the proposal are invited to email them to district communications specialist Michele Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit them anonymously through Patriot Plain Talk.
A: If the proposed $39.7 million capital project is approved by voters on May 17, New York state building aid would pay for approximately 80 percent of the project and the remaining 20 percent would come from the district (also called the “local share”).
Board of Education members have pledged that 100 percent of the energy savings generated by the Perth solar array would be applied toward the local share of the capital project. Over the 25-year life of the array, the district is expected to save $5.3 million. However, this savings extends beyond the term of the capital construction bond, which would be paid off by 2035. Through 2035, the solar array is expected to save the district approximately $3.6 million – or about 30 percent of the local share of the capital project.
Broadalbin-Perth’s annual budget currently includes about $100,000 for the local share of the capital expenses related to the 2003 referendum, which will be paid off at the end of the 2019-20 school year. Because these funds will no longer be needed to pay for the 2003 project, they would be applied toward the local share of the 2016 capital project.
The remaining portion of the local share of the capital project would be divided among district property owners. If voters approve the capital project proposal on May 17, the district’s financial advisor estimates that the owner of a home with a full-market value of $100,000 with the Basic STAR exemption would see an increase of $55 on his September 2020 tax bill; the owner of a similar home with the Enhanced STAR exemption would see an increase of $27 on his September 2020 tax bill. There would be no additional tax increases as a result of the capital project.
Q: Approximately 80 percent of the capital project may be paid by the state, but doesn’t that money come from my pocket as well?
A: Yes, it sure does. Most state revenue comes from the sales and income taxes paid by residents and businesses all across New York. But these are taxes we will all be paying whether or not voters approve Broadalbin-Perth’s capital project because it is the mechanism for funding school infrastructure in New York state.
The infrastructure issues and student learning needs at Broadalbin-Perth are just as real as the needs in New York City, Buffalo, neighboring school districts, or anywhere else in the state. And Broadalbin-Perth residents have just as much right to use state money to meet those needs as residents of any other community in New York.
A: If residents approve the 2016 capital project, the district will collect bids from contractors to complete the work described, and the bids the district receives will determine the actual final cost of each element of the project. The estimates provided were prepared by the district’s architectural firm, CSArch, and include funds for architectural and legal services, as well as contingencies and such incidentals as paint and furniture. The estimates are conservative to ensure the capital project proposal includes enough money to do all the work described.
State law requires school districts to collect bids for all work to be done as part of a capital project. This allows the district to select the lowest bid for work that will meet detailed specifications. Often, the actual cost of renovations comes in lower than initial estimates.
Several factors make school renovations more expensive than people might expect, including state prevailing wage laws and the state Wicks Law, which requires municipalities to collect bids from separate contractors on different parts of any building or renovation projects that cost more than $500,000. Also, school building codes are much more strict than home building codes, particularly when it comes to fire prevention. Another factor is that very little work can be done when school is in session from September to June. Squeezing projects into two summer months and competing with other school districts to use that time window tends to drive bids up.
A: As with any capital project or annual budget proposal that voters approve, the Board of Education can only spend up to the specific amount approved by voters. If renovation bids are higher than estimated, the district would scale back the scope of work in the capital project to stay within the authorized amount.
A: The Board of Education has committed to limiting the taxpayer share of the proposed capital project to no more than $55 on a home with a full-market value of $100,000 and the Basic STAR exemption. If revenue from energy savings related to the Perth solar project is less than expected, the district would either use reserves to make up the difference or scale back the scope of work in the capital project.
Q: How does the proposed capital project affect the district’s budget proposal for the 2016-17 school year?
A: The capital project proposal and the district’s operating budget for the 2016-17 school year are completely separate. The estimated tax increase related to the proposed capital project would not happen until the 2020-21 school year.
A: There are no anticipated increases in costs associated with district operations or maintenance as a result of the proposed capital project. In fact, the district would save the money it has been spending on keeping aging systems operational.
The district will also realize savings related to operational efficiencies that would result from the capital project. For example, creating a performance space at the elementary school at the Perth campus would eliminate the need to bus students to the Broadalbin campus to use the Margaret Robin Blowers Auditorium for assemblies, concerts and plays.
Reorganizing the district into a pre-K through grade 6 elementary school at the Perth campus and a grades 7-12 secondary school at the Broadalbin campus would allow B-P to expand program offerings without increasing staffing costs. For example, home and careers is a state-mandated course for middle school students. If middle and high school students were in the same building, the district’s home and careers teacher could also offer a culinary arts elective for high school students interested in learning to cook for themselves or contemplating culinary career opportunities.
The district also anticipates that approximately 22 teachers will retire between now and the opening of the reorganized schools at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. Because of the differences in contractual salaries, the district could hire three first-year teachers to replace every two retiring teachers and still realize a savings of more than $1 million – and expand program offerings to better prepare students for college and careers in the process.
A: If voters approve the 2016 capital project on May 17, Broadalbin-Perth would reorganize its schools to create a pre-K through grade 6 elementary school at the Perth campus and a grades 7-12 secondary school at the Broadalbin campus. These new schools would open their doors to students at the start of the 2019-20 school year.
A: A team of faculty and staff led by Director of Special Programs Christine Foglia-Sands examined the issue of where sixth grade should be located thoroughly before making a recommendation to Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson. In addition to visiting other school districts, the team also reviewed academic research on the topic. In the end, the team concluded that placing sixth grade at the elementary level is more appropriate for those students’ social and emotional development than keeping sixth grade at the secondary level. The research also showed that children attending schools where sixth grade is part of the elementary level have better academic results long-term than those who attend schools where sixth grade is at the secondary level.
A: Teaching certifications in New York state are divided at certain grades. In general, teachers have pre-K through grade 6 certification or grades 7-12 certification. Currently, Broadalbin-Perth’s elementary and secondary teaching staffs are split between the two campuses. By grouping like certifications together, the district would create opportunities to expand programs and offer new elective courses without hiring additional staff.
For example, home and careers is a state-mandated course for middle school students. If middle and high school students were in the same building, the district’s home and careers teacher could also offer a culinary arts elective for high school students interested in learning to cook for themselves or contemplating culinary career opportunities.
A: Computer labs and band rooms can be used by students no matter their age. But what about such specialized classroom space as science labs, home and careers classrooms, locker rooms, and the technology room or woodshop?
Leaving such spaces the way they are at the Perth campus supports the district’s goal of providing 21st century learning opportunities and saves money on renovation costs. For example, an elementary math class could visit the home and careers classroom to make cupcakes as part of a hands-on lesson about fractions. Access to middle school science labs would help ease the transition of fifth- and sixth-graders to the secondary school. Although elementary students don’t change their clothes for physical education classes, youth and community organizations and modified sports teams will continue to use existing locker rooms. And 21st century learning isn’t limited to electronic screens; the existing woodshop would give elementary students access to “old-fashioned” technology and provide meeting spaces for Odyssey of the Mind and STEM teams.
Perth Solar Array
A: Because there are no capital costs associated with the installation of a photovoltaic energy system (solar array) at the Perth campus, there is no need for a public referendum on the solar project. This means the photovoltaic system will be operational – and generating savings on the district’s energy bill – well before construction would begin on the 2016 capital project. The district plans to use 100 percent of the savings the photovoltaic system creates to offset the local share of the cost of the 2016 capital project.
A: The proposed location of the solar array is an area adjacent to the Perth campus on land the district purchased as part of the capital project voters approved in February 2013.
A: The solar array will cover approximately 10 acres.
A: A fence will surround the solar array to keep out any unauthorized individuals.
A: According to the proposal by vendor Solar Liberty, the solar array is expected to be operational by the end of December 2016.
A: There are no costs associated with the solar project. The photovoltaic system will be built and owned by Solar Liberty, which will also be responsible for maintaining the system, as part of an 18-year power purchase agreement with a seven-year extension designed to save the district money on its energy costs.
A: A variety of factors affect energy pricing, but CSArch estimates the district will save as much as $5.3 million on energy costs over the 18-year life of the power purchase agreement plus seven-year extension.
A: Under the power purchase agreement, energy generated by the photovoltaic system will result in a credit to the district’s National Grid account. The district will purchase energy from Solar Liberty at a lower rate, thus generating savings.
For example, in the first year, if the photovoltaic system generates 2,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) at a credit rate of $0.150 per kWh and the district uses 2,000,000 kWh at a purchase rate of $0.095 per kWh, the district saves $0.055 per kWh – a total of $110,000 in this example ($0.055 per kWh multiplied by 2,000,000 kWh).