Solar-Plus-Storage Sparks State Agency’s Upgrade

The California workers' comp fund employs multiple tools for the next phase of its sustainability plan.
Image via Pixabay

State Compensation Insurance Fund, a workers’ compensation insurer active in the state of California since 1914, has joined forces with ENGIE North America and JLL to carry out the second phase of its sustainable strategy. The plan includes installing solar panels and energy storage systems, as well as electric vehicle charging systems.

ENGIE North America will install 11 megawatts of solar panels across six of the insurer’s facilities at Redding, Bakersfield, Fresno, Pleasanton, Riverside and Vacaville; collectively, these will generate approximately 18 gigawatt-hours of clean energy per year. This capacity is estimated to offset roughly 14,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to planting 204,000 trees every year.

In addition to the solar panel systems, these locations, plus a seventh, will also be equipped with a network of more than 150 Level II and Level III (fast charging) electric vehicle charging stations. The stations will be used by the firm’s employees and car fleet, which currently counts eight battery electric vehicles, three of which are new long-range BEVs.

The retail electricity supplier will also install battery storage systems at Bakersfield, Pleasanton, Vacaville and Fresno locations for a combined 4,240 kilowatt-hours. That will enable State Fund to avoid buying electricity from the grid during peak times.

“At State Fund, we are committed to fulfilling our responsibility to positively impact the businesses and communities we serve. By reducing our use of fossil fuels and investing in these sustainability initiatives, we are helping to contribute to a cleaner, healthier future for California,” Andreas Acker, executive vice president & chief administrative officer, told Commercial Property Executive. 

Green efforts

State Fund’s sustainable strategy kicked off a few years ago and, so far, it materialized in various initiatives, including the installation of exterior and interior LED lighting and energy efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at several location; installation of daylight harvesting systems at all owned buildings; and installation of water-saving appliances such as waterless or dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets at most sites.

In addition, eight of the company’s buildings have received Energy Star certifications, which translates to a 10 percent in energy reduction since 2016. Moreover, to substantially reduce plastic use, State Fund initiated an internal campaign to “ban the bottle” that runs during events the firm is hosting.

Work has already started at some sites, and the entire project is slated for completion by the end of the year.