FRESNO, Calif. – Dec 5, 2022 – The Fresno County Juvenile Justice Campus (JJC) solar array, developed through a partnership between the County of Fresno and ForeFront Power, a leading developer and asset manager of commercial and industrial-scale solar energy and storage projects, was announced as the Solar Builder C&I Ground-Mount Project of the Year as part of the 2022 Solar Builder Project of the Year Awards.

Completed in March 2022, the Fresno County JJC 3.84MW solar array is the largest public-sector solar project in Fresno County. This ground-mount solar array is made up of nearly 9,000 panels and will generate 7,496,000 kWh of clean, renewable energy each year – enough to cover the annual electricity usage of 1,000 homes. The array will also cover 80% of the annual electricity usage for the adjacent JJC, a 200-acre campus that serves as a medium-security detainment facility for minors in custody and offers educational and service programs including the Floyd Farrow Substance Abuse Program, Planned Parenthood, and the Boys and Girls Club.

Through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with ForeFront Power, Fresno County was able to successfully procure the JJC solar energy system, along with a smart battery storage system in development for 2023, at no upfront cost to the County. As part of the 20-year PPA agreement, ForeFront Power will operate and maintain the system while the County achieves a low, fixed rate for electricity as well as budget certainty by avoiding utility rate increases for decades to come. The JJC project is expected to save the County up to $20 million over the course of this 20-year PPA, resulting in close to a 40% reduction in energy spend.

“This award recognizes the hard work of so many people, especially those in our County’s Internal Services Department and at ForeFront Power, and it also highlights one of many innovative ways we are implementing cost-saving measures for the public,” said Paul Nerland, Fresno County Administrative Officer.

3.8 MW solar ground-mount system at the Fresno County Juvenile Justice Campus (JJC)

“What stands out about the JJC project – and all of ForeFront Power’s work in Fresno County – is how impactful the switch to solar energy can be for cities and municipalities if they are forward-thinking, proactive and embrace it. Credit to ForeFront Power for focusing on these projects. They’ve become a trusted developer in their region as a result. This C&I Ground-Mount Project of the Year is just one example of many,” said Chris Crowell, Editor-in-Chief of Solar Builder magazine.  

As a trusted source for solar industry news in North America, Solar Builder’s annual awards program seeks to highlight the most outstanding PV projects in the solar industry each year across six categories: C&I Rooftop, C&I Ground-Mount, Community, Residential, Microgrid, and Utility-Scale. The Fresno County JCC solar project was selected as one of five finalists in the C&I Ground-Mount category by Solar Builder and decided as the winning project through community voting.

See the full list of the 2022 Solar Builder Project of the Year winners here