Paul Quinn College Announces Strategic Energy Initiative in Partnership With GridMarket, EarthX, Environ Partners, and Go Big Solar

The partnership will result in substantial economic and environmental value for Paul Quinn College and lay the groundwork for a future community-wide plan

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

DALLAS, April 29, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Paul Quinn College (Paul Quinn), GridMarket, EarthX and Environ Partners today announced a strategic plan to bring cost-effective energy procurement, valuable infrastructure upgrades, and renewable energy generation to the Paul Quinn campus. For the first phase, revised energy procurement and a 25-year solar power purchase agreement will enable the college to achieve energy and sustainability targets while driving increased revenue.

“Since my arrival 12 years ago, helping Paul Quinn College and the Highland Hills community embrace sustainability has been one of the focal points of my presidency,” stated Paul Quinn College president, Michael Sorrell.  “Bringing that commitment to life beyond our organic farm has represented the same challenges for the college that are faced by under-resourced communities all over the world.  That is, making sustainability affordable and accessible.  Today, we take the first step in addressing that problem.  We look forward to working with our partners EarthX, GridMarket and Environ Partners to bring energy-efficient solutions to our school and to the people in this part of Dallas.”

The project was first conceptualized in 2018 when GridMarket conducted a comprehensive analysis of energy operations at the campus. GridMarket’s process includes the application of its data-driven artificial intelligence platform to remotely survey properties for distributed energy opportunities. The platform produces customized energy recommendations based on the unique priorities of a property or portfolio. For Paul Quinn, GridMarket provided the framework for an optimized energy strategy and, with local solar development firm, Go Big Solar, helped the college select vendors through its competitive marketplace to cost-effectively address energy and infrastructure needs.

“This project is a testament to the power of meaningful partnerships when executing energy and infrastructure projects,” said GridMarket CEO, Nick Davis. “When the visions of forward-thinking energy consumers like Paul Quinn and are catalyzed through collaboration and innovative tools, we are empowered to achieve a low-carbon future. All stakeholders came together to identify and execute a solution that represents the best interests of the college, and we are thrilled to continue our relationship with Paul Quinn and Environ Partners across subsequent project phases.”

Environ’s turn-key energy solution will provide the college with substantial operational cost savings. 711kW of rooftop solar will be installed on the roofs of six campus buildings. The host buildings will each receive a full roof replacement prior to the solar installations. Infrastructure upgrades and solar installations come at no upfront cost to the college. Environ is already managing Paul Quinn’s energy procurement.

"We all have to make the conscious choice, each and every day, to take the steps necessary to make the world a better place for not only ourselves, but also for those that will follow after us,” said Denver Williams, Renewable Energy Director at Environ Partners. “We at Environ Partners, share in Paul Quinn's mission statement of ‘WE over Me’. This type of forward thinking and conscious efforts create these opportunities for us to work together with organizations like GridMarket to help accomplish the goal of bringing clean, renewable and sustainable energy resources to the college of Paul Quinn. Through their decision to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce the impact that they have on the environment, they have taken the progressive steps to ensure a greener world for all and we are excited to be a part of that journey with them."

This first phase of on-site renewable generation at the campus will save 248.5 tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of planting 82.8 acres of trees. Over the lifetime of the project, solar generation is expected to provide the college with 25% of its total energy needs. As a part of Paul Quinn College’s mission to ‘leave places better than you found them’, the college will work with GridMarket and Environ on the continued integration of energy conservation measures and clean energy generation opportunities.

“Renewable energy initiatives allow private, non-profit colleges like Paul Quinn to become energy independent,” said David M. Cox, Go Big Solar CEO and Founder. “Go Big Solar delivers distributed generation solar energy solutions through successful cooperation with our strategic partners.”

Paul Quinn’s strategic energy initiative was announced this past weekend at EarthX, the world’s largest environmental forum. Founded by environmental philanthropist Trammell S. Crow, EarthX is committed to bringing together partners in order to accelerate environmental initiatives and amplify their impact. Paul Quinn’s transition to renewable energy and resilient infrastructure - which was provided at no-cost to the college by GridMarket - serves as a model for academic campuses across the country and around the world.

EarthX2019 took place April 26-28, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. Project partners were showcased throughout the weekend and at the Island Resilience Forum. The official signing ceremony announcing the project took place on Friday, April 26 in the Briscoe Carpenter Center.

Contact Information
Jillian Caramanna Seymour

About GridMarket
GridMarket is a dynamic distributed energy project platform and competitive marketplace leveraging big data and predictive analytics to accelerate the global energy transition. The GridMarket platform automates the creation of customized opportunity assessments and technology agnostic recommendations. Actionable energy insights empower energy consumers, governments, and utilities to dynamically manage their energy potential and implement the most beneficial, cost-effective solutions.

About Paul Quinn College
Paul Quinn College is a private, faith-based, four-year, liberal arts-inspired college that was founded on April 4, 1872, by a group of African Methodist Episcopal Church preachers in Austin, Texas. The school’s original purpose was to educate freed slaves and their offspring. Today, we proudly educate students of all races and socio-economic classes under the banner of our institutional ethos, WE over Me. Our mission is to provide a quality, faith-based education that addresses the academic, social, and Christian development of students. Under President Sorrell’s leadership, Paul Quinn has become one of the most innovative and respected small colleges in the nation and now serves as a model for urban higher education. Fortune magazine recognized President Sorrell’s work and the College’s transformation by naming him one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. President Sorrell is also a three-time award winner of HBCU Male President of the Year by HBCU Digest, was selected as 2018-2019 President of the Year by Education Dive, and named by Time magazine as one of the “31 People Changing the South.”

About Environ Partners
As a Jones's Family owned company Environ Partners delivers turnkey energy solutions, specializing in energy optimization and sustainability. We develop a comprehensive energy reduction and efficiency plan. Environ Partners optimizes energy solutions for better business that empowers a brighter future for all.

About Go Big Solar
Austin, Texas-based Go Big Solar, LLC develops grid-tied and behind the meter community solar projects. With its scalable, 1 MegaWatt Solar Blocks, Go Big Solar delivers turn-key solar energy assets and distributed generation resources to large consumers, suppliers and resellers of electricity. Go Big Solar is able to offer competitive pricing for its community 1MW Solar Blocks by providing best of breed deployments and on time delivery of innovation solar solutions. Renewable and solar are the fastest growing energy sources on the planet, and Go Big is committed to making solar available to everyone.

About EarthX
EarthX convenes the world’s largest environmental expo, conference and film festival. Founded in 2011 as Earth Day Dallas by environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, the Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promotes environmental awareness and impact through conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration and community-driven sustainable solutions. In 2018, the event drew over 138,000 attendees, 2,000 environmental leaders, 700 exhibitors and 400 speakers. Earthx2019 was recently held April 26 – 28, 2019 in Dallas.