As part of the new program, SunPower will construct and operate solar facilities on customer sites and provide power from the facilities under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). Customers will have no upfront costs or maintenance responsibilities and pay a fixed price for the electricity, which is typically below the utility-delivered price for power. State and federal incentives will also help minimize the price of electricity under a contract with strong customer protections.
Customers will also have an option for battery storage with SunPower's Helix™ Storage solution to store solar energy for use during peak periods to help further protect members against paying high utility demand charges.
"This is a huge step forward for our solar efforts and an innovative solution that helps nonprofits get access to the least expensive energy when they need it most," said PowerOptions President and CEO Cynthia Arcate. "Under our past programs, we developed about 65 megawatts of solar for our members. This agreement allows us to continue that work but with the added benefit of energy storage with the leading commercial solar provider in the nation. We're very pleased to be working with SunPower on this very important program."
"By working with PowerOptions, SunPower looks forward to offering members reliable, fully-integrated solar and storage solutions designed to maximize their energy savings," said Chris Cantone, SunPower's commercial director for the East Coast. "New England is a progressive market for renewable energy and SunPower is invested in its growth with an office in Boston, home to about 20 solar experts that help customers in the Northeast see the complete benefits of solar."
PowerOptions members include some of the most prestigious area nonprofit institutions, such as hospitals, universities and museums, as well as social service agencies, housing authorities, and cities and towns.
"The City of Melrose has been considering a solar canopy for the parking lot at Melrose High School, and this new PowerOptions program provides an opportunity for us to move quickly with our project to take advantage of current incentives," said Melrose Energy Manager Martha Grover. "Since 2012, PowerOptions has worked with the city to save money on our energy supply, and we trust their negotiating skills and expertise to offer us a program with a good price and beneficial contract terms."
PowerOptions selected SunPower in a competitive RFP procurement process. "We reviewed proposals from many of the biggest area solar providers, and SunPower demonstrated a commitment to partner with PowerOptions members, both large and small, to provide optimal solar solutions and the qualifications to complete these large projects, from design through construction to completion," added Arcate.