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Stockton USD, Sierra Vista named Environment + Energy Leader Top Projects

Schneider Electric, a leader in energy and sustainability services today announced that its work with Stockton Unified School District and the City of Sierra Vista, Arizona received Top Project of the Year Awards in the Environment + Energy Leader Awards program. The win is an indication that the program’s expert judges consider Schneider Electric and its partners as top examples of the exemplary work being done today in the fields of energy and environmental management.

The Environment + Energy Leader Awards is a program recognizing excellence in products and services that provide companies with energy and environmental benefits, and in projects implemented by companies that improved environmental or energy management and increased the bottom line. This is the fourth year in a row that a Schneider Electric partnership has been named a Project of the Year.

Stockton Unified School District worked with Schneider Electric to improve its already impressive energy efficiency program by implementing energy storage. Bundling their existing solar arrays at two district high schools with lithium-ion batteries is helping the district to offset up to 60% of energy costs at the schools, including high peak demand energy costs, and saving the district more than $1.6 million in energy costs over the next decade. Stockton is pioneering the use of battery storage technologies in schools – currently only 3% of schools in the state have implemented battery storage – and was able to leverage existing grants and rebates to cover the full cost of the batteries. This project also lays the foundation for the district to participate in future innovative energy strategies, such as microgrids that can further enhance energy affordability and reliability, while driving resilience.

One Environment + Energy Leader Awards judge called the project “a great example of being proactive and seeking additional savings. They already completed energy saving projects, had solar installed and looked for what to do next, finding and harnessing grant funding and a rebate program.”

The judge added, “Stockton can use the money from its energy savings to redirect dollars back into the classroom, fund deferred maintenance needs or even add new teaching positions. They did not stop at low hanging fruit projects, or even at onsite solar, but went above and beyond to find and utilize grant and rebate dollars."

“With rapid advancements and a near-constant rate of change in the field, sustainability and energy professionals had to prove to our judges that they were really the best of the best this year,” says Sarah Roberts, Environment + Energy Leader publisher.

Schneider Electric also won for its unique work with the City of Sierra Vista, Arizona for a project designed to not only improve lifecycle savings, but also generate sports-tourism revenue for the City. Schneider Electric’s work with Sierra Vista included energy efficiency improvements City-wide, which generated enough projected savings to help finance a new wave machine for the aquatic center and synthetic turf fields for its thriving sports community.

The initiative will directly impact the Sierra Vista City Council’s strategic focus areas to increase economic prosperity and demonstrate environmental leadership, while also driving a sports tourism initiative to attract additional sports leagues and tournaments to the area. Across public buildings city-wide, Schneider Electric replaced nearly 3,500 light fixtures with high-efficiency LEDs, along with significant HVAC upgrades, and LED sports-field lighting at 17 fields and courts across the City. The project has an expected lifecycle savings and revenue generation of more than $20 million.

Both partnerships were delivered via an energy savings performance contract (ESPC). Over the past 28 years, Schneider Electric has successfully implemented more than 750 energy savings performance contract (ESPC) projects across the nation, saving its clients more than $2.5 billion. This project delivery method helps publicly funded entities make capital improvements over longer payback periods and offers many long-term benefits such as improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, financial management and environmental protection.

"With a highly respected (and critical) judging panel and a strict set of judging criteria, entrants faced an extremely high bar to qualify for an award," closed Roberts.

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About the Environment + Energy Leader Awards

For nearly a decade, the Environment + Energy Leader Awards have celebrated excellence in the world of environmental, sustainability and energy management. Award winners are truly buzz-worthy, and companies that sport a Top Project or Top Product of the Year Award badge are known to be the best of the best. When other companies are seeking a sustainability or energy management solution, they know that E+E Product of the Year Award winners offer a significant group of products, vetted by experts, to peruse for help in making their decisions. Project of the Year Award winners are known to illustrate how sustainability and energy management projects can successfully help other companies improve the bottom line.