NC School Is A Net Energy Generator

PowerSecure International, Inc. announced today that it has designed and installed the power systems for Sandy Grove Middle School (SGMS) in Lumber Bridge, NC, which opened for the 2013-2014 school year as one of the nation’s first net positive energy schools.

The LEED platinum certified school, which produces more energy than it consumes, will use a 589 kW DC solar photovoltaic system, designed and installed by PowerSecure Solar. Additionally, a 600 kW generator from PowerSecure, which includes PowerSecure’s custom controls and distributed generation solution, will enable demand response when the local utility, Lumbee River Electrical Cooperative, begins its anticipated demand response program in 2014.

“When we acquired our solar capabilities in 2012, we were looking to integrate solar with our industry-leading DG offering through microgrid, firm solar and other applications, and the project at Sandy Grove is a fantastic example of how these combined assets can deliver enhanced value to our customers,” said Sidney Hinton, chief executive officer of PowerSecure.

SGMS is expected to serve as a model for new school design and is anticipated to save nearly $16 million in energy cost alone over the next 40 years. Combined with other operations and maintenance efficiencies, SGMS will save Hoke County, NC more than $35 million during that same period.

PowerSecure partnered with First Floor/SFL&A, the school developer and architect, Optima Engineering, the building engineer, and MetCon Inc., the general contractor, to develop this net positive energy school prototype, incorporating integrated distributed energy systems, geothermal and energy efficiency.