Los Altos School District

Los Altos School District (LASD) is a top-rated school district in California, operating seven elementary and two junior high schools. As part of the district’s broader efforts to go zero net energy, LASD implemented high-performance building retrofits district-wide including enhanced lighting controls and energy ventilation systems. To complement these energy-efficiency measures, LASD sought to install renewable energy to offset its newly-reduced electrical load.

The District partnered with ForeFront Power to develop a 1.4MW solar energy portfolio comprising nine projects across its school campuses. Through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with ForeFront Power, LASD is now generating clean, renewable electricity while reducing its annual utility spending, all without any upfront cost or use of bond funds.

ForeFront Power coordinated closely with LASD to construct and complete the portfolio with minimal impact to school activities during the 2017 – 2018 school year. As part of the PPA, ForeFront Power has continued to monitor system performance as after the portfolio’s completion.

In the first year of operation, a third-party vendor was responsible for managing the District’s solar energy assets, ForeFront Power recognized inefficiencies in system performance and offered to take over asset management duties directly. The company’s in-house asset management team, which offers a combination of diagnostic, monitoring, and operational expertise, began directly managing the LASD portfolio in 2020 with the objective of optimizing performance and maximizing electricity savings.

By the end of 2021, the ForeFront Power asset management team was able to drastically decrease the LASD solar portfolio’s third-party maintenance events (known as “truck rolls”) compared to the previous vendor. All project sites receive annual inspections, where all equipment is checked and tuned, resulting in only two maintenance events in 2021–a reduction of 90% in just 2 years. The portfolio exceeded the 95% contracted performance guarantee with an average performance ratio of 100% across the portfolio.

Benefiting from ForeFront Power’s ongoing asset management, the 1.4 MW solar portfolio has helped LASD save $986,000 to date, while avoiding 1,754 tons of CO2 annually or 336 cars taken off the road each year. By significantly reducing District energy costs, the solar portfolio is redirecting school funds to classrooms, teachers, and educational programs for students.


CustomerLos Altos School DistrictSegmentPublic SectorTypeAsset ManagementCapacity1.4 MWYear2021LocationLos Altos, CA


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