Solar energy units in class will get a boost with Otsego’s latest venture, a partnership agreement with Sun FundED, an Indiana-based education services company that exclusively serves education, pairing a renewable energy platform for the classroom with savings for the school, immediately.
Construction to place solar arrays on our building roofs and grounds will start in November. We’ll hold a ceremony to signify this ground-breaking opportunity in late October.
Otsego’s Board of Education signed a Solar as a Service Agreement with Sun FundED in August of 2019 and are thrilled to see the planning become a reality. Otsego is the first school district in the state of Michigan to sign this partnership with Sun FundED. “We’re excited to be a leader in this industry at the educational level and this is a natural next step in Otsego’s current commitment to energy savings,” says Jeff Haase, Otsego Public Schools Superintendent. Thirteen years ago OPS implemented an energy savings program that has resulted in a cost avoidance of $3 million dollars since inception. “To build upon the success of this program, OPS was looking for additional opportunities to reduce costs and save energy. Sun FundED called at the right time and their mission falls right in line with ours. Not only do they provide the alternative energy we were looking for, but an important educational component for our students which was extremely appealing,” adds Haase.
OPS was also the first public school in Michigan to qualify for the Sun FundED educational grant and classroom program, SAMI, valued at $75,000. This education program includes an interactive kiosk, educational array outside, and a web based platform for the classroom focused on Sustainability, Academics, Marketplace, and Innovation and is the first educational platform in the US. Additionally, OPS will see a projected savings of $5 million over the next 25 years. And our students and community will benefit for decades to come. “Sun FundED helps position Otsego as a leader in classroom programming for energy, engineering, solar power and sustainability, while laying a solid foundation for new educational opportunities for students to meet the demands of a growing and changing energy industry in Michigan and across the country,” says Kelly Hipskind, Co-Founder of Sun FundED. “This literally executes on our mission to tangibly and positively impact the classroom and bottom line of our school partners.”
Five buildings will be equipped with solar panels, either on the roof or with ground arrays, or both.
“It's extremely rare to meet a Superintendent and their leadership team in the first meeting where trust is established and excitement is open and collaborative. As a result of OPS’s innovative culture combined with taking a leap of faith and trusting the Sun FundED process, we are able to invest well over $2 million dollars into their district and OPS is able to be innovative and lead education in Michigan,” adds Hipskind. “Otsego is a leader in Michigan, but more importantly, they have become dear friends to all of us at Sun FundED making this partnership one of the great joys of my professional career.”
About Sun FundED
Sun FundED is an educational services company with the mission to tangibly and positively impact the classroom and bottom line of our education system. Patrick Poer and Kelly Hipskind, the co-founders of Sun FundED, have a successful international track record serving education. Sun FundED’s proprietary School Advocate Program helps educate school leaders while also qualifying schools for creative financial and learning opportunities. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, some of which include Solar-as-a-Service, SAMI, the academic-based platform for projects, activities, sponsorships and more. Some of the key partnership advantages to schools include:
- No capital cost to the school
- Maximum flexibility with school budget
- 100%+ ROI
- No debt
- No extra work, no hassle, no middleman
- Cash donations, sponsorships and grants available.
- Immediate, short-term, and long-term savings through solar