World's First Solar Hot Air PPA to
Reduce HVAC Heating Costs & C0
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With no capital investment, Sanborn Regional High School is poised to save $17,000, cut CO2 emissions by 48 tons and displace 13,500 gallons of fuel oil yearly.

Sanborn Regional School District has signed the world's first power purchase agreement (PPA) for ultra-efficient solar hot air at the Sanborn Regional High School, which will reduce its fuel oil heating bills by at least $17,000 annually with no capital investment required by the school district.

The 10-year contract, which is incentivized with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds, enables the Sanborn Regional School District to receive 1,400-mmBTU's of thermal energy, which is equivalent to paying $2.50 per gallon of fuel oil. The environment also benefits from a displacement of 13,500 gallons of fuel oil and a reduction of 48 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

Photo gallery of the project's progress:

The project features four separate Lubi™ wall-mounted solar hot air collectors by Enerconcept Technologies, Magog, Quebec. The collectors, which aesthetically appear as walls of windows, will use 8,000-square feet of the school's gray and charcoal-colored masonry walls as solar absorbers. The collectors will provide a majority of the school's heated make-up air requirements and partially space heat the 12,000-square-foot gym. The Lubi uses 1 x 3-foot translucent glazing panels with a patented perforation design resulting in the world's most efficient solar device, according to Canadian Standards Association CSA-International) certification tests. We're excited about this project because it won't detract from our school's appearance, offers a long-term alternative energy savings strategy and helps stabilize the tremendous costs of heating a 220,000-square-foot facility.

Facilitating the project is a limited joint-partnership between Sanborn Regional School District, Enerconcept, PPA provider and financier; Revolution Energy, Dover, N.H., and Shift Energy, a Biddeford, Maine-based manufacturer's representative that will manage the installation of the wall-mounted solar collectors and their connection to the school's HVAC system. The partnership's solar air heating PPA strategy is now attracting other school administrators across the northeast looking for energy-saving alternatives without a capital investment.

Enerconcept provides the equipment and engineering design, and Shift Energy manages the installation. Revolution Energy arranges the conventional bank loan, owns the equipment, and receives a 30-percent tax grant and a first-year 100-percent equipment depreciation from the ARRA, which is passed directly onto the school district. Revolution Energy is also responsible for equipment maintenance over the 10-year contract.

The high school is also excited about the educational value of the project. Revolution Energy is inviting Sanborn vocational technology, environmental and science classes to participate in the installation. Revolution Energy will also provide Web-based learning modules, personal presentations from the company’s principals, and teacher curriculum development help on renewable energy for integrated classroom experiences at the middle and high school levels.

When the 10-year contract expires, the school has an option to purchase the system at a fair market value well below the new system's cost. Fuel oil prices are expected to climb in the future, so throughout the 30-year lifecycle of the solar collector, the school district could conceivably save more than $1.5 million in energy, displace 400,000-gallons of fuel oil and eliminate 1,440-tons of CO2 emissions from the environment.

 Design/Build Firm: Shift Energy     Financing/PPA: Revolution Energy     Technology Provider: Enerconcept Technologies