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Miller Canfield Client Flushing Community Schools Closes on P3 Solar Power Project

February 20, 2018

Miller Canfield is pleased to announce that our client Flushing Community Schools has closed on a public-private partnership (P3) project that will provide the school district with significant savings while making a long-term commitment to renewable energy to power school district buildings.

In a first-of-its-kind transaction in Michigan, Standard Solar will design, build, finance, operate and maintain eight solar arrays on-site at seven schools within the school district. The school district will then purchase the renewable energy generated on-site at a reduced rate from Standard Solar, estimated to save the school district $45,000 annually.

“This is a win-win for everyone involved,” said Ian Koffler, co-chair of Miller Canfield’s Renewable Energy Finance team and lead counsel on the deal. “We anticipate that these public-private partnerships will be a popular option for schools seeking to substantially reduce their electricity costs. Standard Solar will be responsible for all installation and maintenance costs for the systems, selling renewable energy to the district at a reduced rate”

Flushing Community Schools Superintendent Timothy Stein said that the project required collaboration among all parties.

“Miller Canfield was a critical part of the team representing the school district. They worked extensively on the deal with our developer, owner’s representative and other participants on the team to ensure that the project met the requirements of Michigan law and the district’s needs and expectations for the project,” Stein said.

In negotiating this deal, Miller Canfield utilized attorneys from across our practice groups, including the firm’s finance, real estate and environmental practices.  Miller Canfield attorneys’ extensive experience in the renewable energy industry and with the State of Michigan energy regulatory environment enabled the firm to help the school district achieve its objectives for the project.

“These are the types of deals that define our work,” said Miller Canfield CEO Michael McGee. “We have the bench strength to do these complex and creative deals, which is one of the hallmarks of our client service capabilities.”

Roof-mount arrays will be installed at Springview Elementary, Central Elementary and the Early Child Center. Ground-mount arrays will be installed at Seymour Elementary, Elm Elementary, Flushing Middle School and Flushing High School.

“The Board of Education and the administration take stewardship very seriously, whether it’s stewardship of taxpayer money or natural resources,” said Flushing Community Schools Finance Director Kelly Stearns. “This transaction will save the district $45,000 every year. That’s $45,000 more in our general fund, which can be spent in the classrooms. At the same time, our students will have the opportunity to learn about renewable energy, and to have an up-close relationship with its production, which enhances our STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs.”

The project is expected to be complete by fall 2018.