Fremont Community Schools, FREMONT, IN
EMCOR Construction Services Midwest (ECS Midwest) provided new construction services on a state-of-the-art solar array and energy system for Fremont Community Schools. The six-acre solar farm can produce up to 1.8 megawatts of direct current (MW/DC) power which is approximately enough energy to power nearly all of Fremont’s facilities including their elementary, middle, and high-school buildings.
Additionally, the project also included a major lighting retrofit. ECS Midwest installed high-efficiency light-emitting diode (LED) kits across the majority of the system’s facilities that helped lower Fremont’s energy bills and provided them a $45,000 rebate.
Fremont will lease the solar equipment for 20 years at a rate nearly equivalent to their current electricity bill while also garnering potential cost-savings through net metering – receiving compensation from any extra power returned to their local grid. In total, Fremont is estimated to receive $6.2 million in realized and avoided costs over the next 25 years.
Fremont Community Schools needed a company with the expertise to install a high- tech, environmentally friendly solar array. They needed the project to have a strict operating schedule and diligent workplace management to help ensure it would be completed before the beginning of the regular school year.
The project also needed to produce significant cost-savings for the school district. Switching to a solar farm was a bold, forward-thinking decision, and the project needed to not only demonstrate that Fremont was committed to environmental sustainability, but that green energy was also fiscally responsible.
This construction project included the installation of 5,616 solar panels as well as their accompanying rack system. The solar farm features high-end Tier 1 panels selected for efficiency, durability, and warranty life to help optimize functionality and operational longevity. The array powers three school buildings operating via two electrical services which required ECS Midwest to work closely with Fremont’s local electrical distribution company.
The system is also uniquely designed to feature educational benefits for Fremont’s students. Underground feeders connect the farm to the electrical services and display kiosks in each of the buildings. The kiosks present information on the solar farm’s energy production and the school system’s consumption which creates an opportunity for hands-on education about clean-energy technology. The innovative project earned ECS Midwest a 2018 Building Contractors Association (BCA) Excellence in Construction Award.
During the project, ECS Midwest delivered the following:
- 5,616 panel solar farm featuring Tier 1 panels
- 1.8 MW/DC delivered to three separate facilities
- Net metering capabilities
- Solar racking system designed for increased compatibility
- Multiple system kiosks for educational purposes
- Time sensitive construction schedule
- 3,348 high-efficiency LED retrofit kits
- Estimated $6.2 million in realized and avoided costs over 25 years
Fremont Community Schools is an independent school district serving Steuben County, Indiana.
The school district is proud to have already seen the solar farm make a positive impact on their community in the form of educational resources, excess energy returned to the grid, and a first-hand demonstration of environmental stewardship.