Oceanside partners with ENGIE on 30-year energy project – Coast News

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OCEANSIDE — The city has announced plans for a new energy project aimed at enhancing sustainability, reducing costs and fostering community engagement in collaboration over 30 years with ENGIE North America.

According to city staff, the comprehensive 30-year initiative is projected to generate more than $26,000,000 in net savings with significant energy efficiency gains through a series of strategic measures such as integrating 1.6 megawatts of solar alongside a 250-kilowatt energy storage system, replacing and refurbishing HVAC units, implementing a battery energy storage system and an energy management system, installing new, efficient distribution transformers and generator heat pumps, and upgrading interior and exterior lighting to LED.

The energy project is also projected to reduce 4.2 million kWh of electricity per year, which is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 641 cars annually. Additionally, the integration of solar infrastructure into the city’s Capital Improvement Plan directly contributes to the objectives of achieving 125 MW by 2030 and 165 MW by 2045.

“We are proud to collaborate with the city of Oceanside on this groundbreaking initiative,” said Jean-François Chartrain, managing director of energy solutions at ENGIE. “By leveraging innovative solutions and fostering community involvement, we aim to create a more sustainable and resilient future for Oceanside residents. This alliance exemplifies our commitment to driving positive change through energy innovation.”

ENGIE is taking the lead in spearheading an extensive community engagement effort as part of this initiative, including paid internships with the city, the placement of a CivicSpark Fellow to provide support for the Climate Action Plan, fostering economic development initiatives, establishing a living lab equipped with real-time solar data, bolstering support for the Parks and Recreation Department, facilitating after-school programs to help promote STEM activities, and continuing to revitalize the John Landes Community Center.

The city acted fast and was able to secure the Net Energy Metering (NEM) 2.0 Program, which significantly enhances the financial benefits of solar installations. The city will be grandfathered into NEM 2.0 for the next 20 years.

The initiative will also include installation of a battery energy storage system, which will help save costs during peak demand hours. The initiative is expected to receive a battery storage system incentive of $150,000 through the State of California’s Self Generation Incentive Program.

Moreover, the initiative aligns with the nationwide Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), allowing the city to benefit from direct pay tax incentive funding. Oceanside qualifies for more than $3.2 million in IRA funding relative to solar and energy storage.

“This initiative represents a significant step forward for Oceanside in our commitment to sustainability and community engagement,” said Mayor Esther Sanchez. “By working with ENGIE, we are not only improving our energy infrastructure but also creating opportunities for economic development and youth engagement. We are excited to see the positive impact this initiative will have on our city.”

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