As a result of a conversation with 15 energy service companies last summer, the School Board is poised to issue a $2 million contract with CMTA Energy Solutions to conduct system upgrades at Simpson Middle School, with the goal of saving $2.6 million in energy and maintenance costs over the next 20 years.
While the evaluation process has been underway for months, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services Kevin L. Lewis said it’s an idea that is 17 years in the making, as the school division has worked to increase efficiencies and reduce operation and maintenance costs.
The exercise started with an invitation to energy services companies to conduct a back of the envelope audit of Simpson’s infrastructure, with a requirement to include a campus-wide upgrade to LED lighting standards and a roof mounted solar array to supplement building power needs. Four companies submitted responses and the staff selected one, CMTA Energy Solutions, to perform a more detailed investment grade audit. That report was completed earlier this month.
Under the proposal, the campus will see LED lighting upgrades, a roof-mounted solar photovoltaic array, transformer replacement, building envelope improvements, and other energy conservation measures. The school system would pay the cost of the work upon completion. The project is projected to result in a net savings of $610,000 over the next two decades.
School Board members were briefed on the project during their meeting Tuesday night and voiced support for the effort—at Simpson and beyond.
Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge) said that he planned to ask to elevate efforts to achieve greater energy efficiency to become one of the School Board’s core strategic actions.
Beth Barts (Leesburg) said she was confident that the students at the school would embrace the effort to have a more positive impact on the environment. “Thank you for starting at Simpson,” she said.
The board is expected to vote on the contract March 10.