The Athens-Clarke County Sustainability Office is providing technical assistance to the Athens Regional Library to install a solar garden at their Athens area facility. The library applied for and won a $100,000 grant from EBSCO Information Services in 2017 in hopes of reducing the library's environmental impact and electric costs, as well as providing an opportunity for solar education in the community. This solar installation has an expected annual energy production of over 17,000 kWh. Project completion is expected by summer of 2018.
Transportation & Public Works’ Streets and Drainage Solar Installation
The Sustainability Office obtained pre-approval for a $50,000 rebate from the Georgia Solar Program for a solar energy installation at Transportation & Public Works’ Streets and Drainage campus. This rebate is provided as a dollar-for-dollar match for the installation of solar energy systems at local government facilities. The monitoring software indicates the system is currently producing approximately 250 kWh/day, which offsets approximately 70% of the energy consumed by this facility. The system is on track to reduce annual utility expenses by nearly $5,000, which results in a 10 year return on investment for Athens-Clarke County citizens. Over the course of the 25-year operating life for the solar system, 3,600 fewer tons of carbon emissions will be released into the atmosphere.
The Transportation and Public Works' Streets and Drainage solar installation has a system size of 52.8 kw with an annual production of 73060 kWh. This energy use reduction has avoided 36.9 tons of carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of:
- the weight of 21.1 passenger cars
- the use of 417 60-watt light bulbs for eight hours a day for a year
- 3,904 gallons of gasoline use
- 20,874 pounds of coal use
- energy use of 6.8 homes
The Multi-Modal Center was retrofitted with solar capacities in 2012.
The solar project has a 16 kw system size with an annual production of 22880. This is an avoidance of 11.6 tons of carbon monoxide emissions, which is the equivalent of:
- the weight of 6.6 passenger cars
- the energy use of 131 60-watt light bulbs used for eight hours a day for a year
- 1,223 gallons of gasoline use
- the use of 6,537 pounds of coal
- power use of 2.1 homes
Cedar Creek Water Reclamation Facility
An upcoming solar installation at the Cedar Creek Water Reclamation Facilities will see an overall decrease of 40-60% in plant energy use. Athens-Clarke Clarke County plans to spend $1 million to deploy the solar project and will see an immediate return in energy consumption. It is anticipated as the largest solar project with a system size of 600 kw and will have annual production rates of 1.2 million kWh. It would require over 12,000 trees to absorb the same amount of the expected 606 tons of carbon emissions that would otherwise be produced by traditional fossil fuel energy consumption. This is the equivalent of:
- the weight of 346.3 passenger cars
- 6,849 60-watt light bulbs used for eight hours a day for a year
- 64,127 gallons of gasoline
- 342,857 pounds of coal
- the energy use of 111.5 homes