Special to The Explorer
Oro Valley has begun work on its $4 million energy efficiency and solar project.
The work, part of town government's commitment to achieving Silver LEED certification, is self-funded through federal energy bonding, an Energy Efficiency Conservation Block grant and energy savings, a release said.
Costs will also be recovered through energy savings over the next 10 years.
Tucson Electric Power is subsidizing between 50 and 60 percent of solar materials costs as part of its Renewable Energy Credit Purchase Program. The town is also issuing $2.4 million in taxable, direct-pay Clean Renewable Energy Bonds to help with project financing.
The work, to be finished in August, includes new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; extensive solar-covered parking; interior lighting upgrades at the reclaimed water plant; 253 exterior lighting fixtures retrofitted or replaced with energy-efficient components; replacement of every light bulb on town campus; solar-powered water heating and covers at James D. Kriegh Park pool; solar heating units on the police department, and computerized timing mechanisms used on the lights at Riverfront Park.
Because of the project, town hall and the police department facility should be able to offset 60 percent of energy needs with solar power, a reduction of more than 550,000 kilowatts of electricity per year, the release said.
"The energy efficiency and solar components of the project will result in substantial savings to the town—an average of $164,000 per year," said Jerene Watson, interim town manager. "This is a key component of the town's strategic plan and fiscal management."