Denver Public Schools signs energy performance contract that includes 14 solar installations


McKinstry and Denver Public Schools, in consultation with the Colorado Energy Office, have embarked on an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) project that will provide facility upgrades by capitalizing on utility and operational cost savings. The project will include upgrades at 27 schools in the district – totaling more than 3.8 million square feet – to improve the learning environment, address maintenance challenges, reduce utility costs through efficiency improvements, and fund capital upgrades.

As part of this EPC project, McKinstry, a specialist in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining high-performing buildings, will guarantee savings from the work. It also includes rooftop solar installations at 14 schools, which will generate electricity, fund additional improvements, and help the district meet its sustainability goals in a fiscally responsible manner.

“Because this project is fully funded through guaranteed savings, we are able to address critical improvements in our schools that are long overdue for upgrade and would not be possible due to significant financial constraints,” said Trena Marsal, Executive Director of Facilities for Denver Public Schools. “Our overall goal is to improve the quality of the learning environment for our students and staff to ensure that we meet our vision of ‘Every Child Succeeds.’ All told, this project will enhance the educational environment for more than 15,000 students and 500 staff.”

This project is the result of a Technical Energy Audit completed earlier this year, which included a thorough evaluation of capital retrofits, utility efficiency measures, solar and renewable energy options and opportunities for improving occupant comfort. In total, 27 district buildings will receive upgrades, which are expected to provide nearly $1.5 million in annual utility and operations & maintenance cost savings as well as an estimated $215,000 in utility rebates.

“We’re thrilled to expand our work with Denver Public Schools and once again serve as a trusted partner in modernizing their facilities to offer the best educational environment possible,” said Leslie Larocque, McKinstry’s Vice President, Energy & Technical Services for the Mountain Regions. “This project will provide a healthier, more comfortable classroom learning environment for students, while also providing up to five megawatts of solar energy to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by almost 10,000 tons.”

Since Colorado established its Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) program in the mid-1990s, 152 public jurisdictions – including 58 school districts – have worked with energy services companies, like McKinstry, to save almost $35 million in annual utility costs, 228 million kWh of electricity and more than 507 million gallons of water.

“As of May 2020, a total of 221 projects have improved the performance and efficiency of public buildings, encompassing 90 million square feet and funding over $654 million of improvements across the State of Colorado,” said DeLynne Southern, Technical Specialist with the Colorado Energy Office.

McKinstry has extensive experience serving K-12 school districts across the country. To date, the company has completed nearly 600 K-12 energy projects for more than 450 school districts nationwide.

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