Willdan Group, Inc. (“Willdan”) (NASDAQ:WLDN) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Willdan Energy Solutions, was awarded a contract for up to $4.6 million as program administrator for the Energy Upgrade Los Angeles - Commercial Initiative. The program incentivizes private financing of comprehensive energy and water system upgrades for Los Angeles commercial buildings while contributing to local job creation. This innovative program, launched by the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative, will commence in the second quarter of 2011 and will be completed by March 2012, with an option to extend for another year.
“This is an exciting opportunity to do what we do best, as energy efficiency and sustainability experts, at a scale that we anticipate will remove approximately 39,720 tons of carbon emissions per year,” said WES President Jay Bhalla. “That is tantamount to taking 7,065 cars off the road. It’s a real impact.”
The Energy Upgrade initiative will offer free assessments of savings opportunities, facilitate access to utility incentives and rebates, introduce property owners to retrofit lenders and investors and provide access to a debt-service reserve fund to encourage early adoption. The program will use a new financing vehicle for commercial property owners called PACE, Property-Assessed Clean Energy, which is an “owner-arranged” tax-lien financing model. Individual property owners may negotiate financing from commercial lenders on the terms, scale and schedule that best suit their project, and repay the financing through a contractual assessment on the building’s property tax bill.
The initiative is part of the California Energy Commission’s Energy Upgrade California program, a statewide effort to roll out aggressive utility-incentive packages, pilot innovative financing approaches, and establish a statewide web-based platform that connects users to localized information about all of the relevant available incentives, resources and financing opportunities.“A clear and effective road map coupled with a competent and tested team is critical to successful program implementation,” Bhalla said. “We look forward to leveraging our expertise alongside our fellow team members in support of CRA/LA’s Energy Upgrade Los Angeles, reducing Los Angeles’ carbon footprint while helping local businesses grow and prosper. This is a win-win, for Willdan, residents and businesses of the City of Los Angeles and the entire Southern California region.” About Willdan Energy Solutions WES is one of the nation's preeminent providers of specialized energy, water, and resource management services to a growing list of clients that includes utilities, local and federal governments, hospitals, schools and private enterprises. WES's portfolio of services includes marketing and engineering, program management and implementation of energy efficiency and water conservation programs and development and implementation of information systems for the energy industry. WES's expertise also covers hardware retrofits, commissioning and retro-commissioning, demonstrations of new technologies, energy efficiency education/outreach, sustainability strategy and local government partnerships.