With the increased importance of protecting our environment, many cities are taking part by investing in clean energy. Local governments have begun taking initiative which will ultimately encourage other cities and homeowners to take initiative as well. Cities around the world are investing in solar PV systems to help lower electric costs, reduce their environmental impact, and educate the public on clean energy alternatives. Here are a few examples of local governments that have begun taking action.
Orange County, CA
The Fullerton Public Library in Orange County recently announced a solar project that will soon be underway. The project will cost about $700,000 in order to install 240 PV panels in the library parking lot. The system is expected to produce 11% of the library’s total energy bill and will save them between $10,000 and $15,000 each year. This effort by the Fullerton Public Library is a great way to get the local community aware and educated about the opportunity to use clean energy sources.
The city of Portland and its citizens are known for regularly participating and investing in eco-friendly activities. The community is very active and the local government seems to support this mentality. Portland will soon be implementing the nation’s largest solar highway project. The 1.75 megawatt array will be installed adjacent to Interstate 5 and they expect it to product about 1.97 million kWh per year.
Portland, ME has announced that Cale Parking Systems will be installing 20 solar powered “pay and display” parking meters in downtown. This is a great way to utilize solar energy because the meters receive much sunlight throughout the day. The meters will accept coins and cards, and they will have the ability to print receipts.
Even though the economic success of Dubai has been built on the oil industry, they are showing an interest in undertaking sustainable projects. They plan to use solar energy to power the city’s public restrooms. They will begin installing solar powered toilets throughout the city with the hopes of accomplishing two things. The city wants to educate its citizens on sustainable practices, as well as help to save taxpayer money. The PV panels installed on the roofs of the buildings will be used to illuminate the lights, run the fans, and operate water pumps for the restrooms.
Santa Rosa, CA
The Bellevue Union School District in Santa Rosa, California and Chevron Energy Solutions recently announced the completion of a solar system that was installed at 4 elementary schools in the district. The system will help to save on utility costs, as well as greatly reduce their total carbon emissions. This a great project because the students are being informed at a young age about the benefits of renewable energy. Ultimately, the school district is not only reducing their environmental impact, but also helping to positively influence student actions in the future. This large solar initiative could inspire many future PV projects.
Nikki Lyman is a member of the Cooler Planet team. She is very enthusiastic about the development of the clean energy market and loves learning about sustainability. Cooler Planet is a Seattle-based company that works to provide all the resources you need to reduce your carbon footprint.