ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - Alachua County Facilities Management is pleased to announce the recent award of a $40,640 rebate check from Florida Power and Light (FPL) for the solar photovoltaic system on the roof of Fire Station #25 in Hawthorne. The check was awarded in accordance with FPL’s PV Rebate Program. The scope of the project included the installation of a 23,760 watt grid-tied solar photovoltaic system. The total project cost was $57,000 and was completed on April 29, 2015. It was completed on time and within budget.
The project came about through a series of events including the following:
- In the early 2000s, the Alachua County Commissioners adopted an Energy Reduction and Water Conservation Program.
- On December 2, 2008, the Energy Conservation Strategies Commission (ECSC) recommended to the Board (in the 2008 ECSC Report) that the County assess the feasibility of using solar power in existing and future County-owned buildings.
- In 2010, the County Commission approved of the Utility Savings Reinvestment program (USRP) to secure funds (including rebates) for use in future energy related projects.
- In 2014, the County approved a project in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to assess the roof tops of County buildings and report back to the Board with a list of buildings that would be good candidates for solar use. Later that year, the County hired Energy Conservation Services (ECS) who analyzed 28 buildings and recommended the 10 most suitable options (based on roof condition, orientation, age, type of roof, structural considerations, and wind loading) for consideration for solar use with potential funding options.
While completing this task, the County was made aware of rebate opportunities with FPL and Duke Energy. In January 2015, the County submitted rebate applications for the Southwest Landfill, Fire Station 23 in Waldo, Fire Station 27 in Archer, and Fire Station 25 in Hawthorne. Fire Station 25 in Hawthorne was selected. The Board approved of funding the project with $40,640 out of the Utility Saving Reinvestment Fund and the remaining $16,360 with general funds. The actual solar installation was done by Solar Impact of Gainesville. The project is projected to pay for itself in 2.2 years.
Project Coordinator Greg Nuetzi stated that, “This system will produce no pollution or hazardous waste and does not require any fuels that need to be transported or combusted. We are excited about this opportunity to improve our environment while at the same time providing a good return on investment for the citizens of Alachua County.”
For more information, contact Alachua County Facilities Director Charlie Jackson at 352-374-5289.