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Walnut Creek, California's Solar Powered City Hall

Solar Power Walnut Creek

In March of this year, the City of Walnut Creek, California decided to follow the lead of many residents: The Walnut Creek City Council approved a solar power study, which indicated 6 prime locations on government land for solar power production.

Sites studied for the viability of solar power production included Walnut Creek City Hall, Tice Valley Gym, North Locust parking garage and the parking lots at Boundary Oak Golf Course and Heather Farm Community Center. The initial study was funded with $9,000 of the $677,700 federal Energy Efficiently and Conservation Block Grant received back in 2009 as part of the stimulus package.

Walnut Creek City Counsel voted to approve the City Hall solar installation, which will be paid for by another $317,000 from the grant as well as a $70,000 grant the city was recently awarded.

City Hall is home to the police department as well as many other government agencies and, according to the Contra Costa Times, uses about 1.4 million kilowatt-hours a year. The solar panels would offset about 7 percent of the building's energy usage, the study found, but over 25 years would save $625,819 in energy costs.

If all 6 recommended sites generated solar power, the Walnut Creek government would reduce energy consumption by 18% - a phenomenal amount. Putting panels in a highly visible location, such as Heather Farm Park, would send a great message to the Walnut Creek Community and encourage more carbon-reducing projects in residents, businesses, and the government.

Related Articles: How to Choose a Solar Installer? ; Is Solar Right for Me? ; What is a Certified NABCEP Solar Installer? ; Solar FAQ ; Solar Glossary of Terms ; What is Photovoltaic Solar Power?

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