84: Energy Sustainability Program
Project Description from submission form
The 100% Renewable Energy SPLOST proposal is intended as a source of gap funding for a variety of projects that would serve to move Athens-Clarke County toward 100% renewable energy usage. The total funding request for the proposal is $17,000,000. This proposal is not intended to be a substitute for any other SPLOST 2020 proposals that would meet a similar goal. Since there are a variety of projects that will require funding once a more clearly defined framework for the shift to 100% renewable energy in Athens takes shape, we will provide some examples of suitable projects below.
The types of suitable projects for this proposal primarily fall under three main categories: providing funds to allow new ACC buildings funded through SPLOST or other means to achieve net zero energy; providing funds to increase the energy efficiency of existing ACC facilities; and providing funds to electrify the ACC vehicle fleet.
Current SPLOST proposals include several requests for new buildings. The competition for funding within SPLOST often leads to projects being pared down to allow funding for other uses. The funding provided by this proposal may be used to ensure that any additional design and construction costs required to achieve a standard of net zero energy on a building project could be met outside of the original project funding.
Many routine maintenance requirements for existing ACC facilities could provide opportunities to increase the energy efficiency of the facility. For example, adding additional insulation to roof decks or installing solar arrays when a building has its roofing replaced, or purchasing a more expensive but more efficient HVAC system when system replacement is warranted. Other upgrades to lighting and control systems, fenestration, or other energy systems in existing facilities, where the energy savings would be significant, could also be considered.
As renewables and carbon-free sources make up an increasing share of the electric power supply for Athens, transitioning ACC to an all-electric vehicle fleet will be a necessary but costly part of getting to 100% renewable energy. This proposal could fund some of that transition. With electric vehicle purchases through SPLOST, department operating costs will fall since the electricity required will be cheaper than gas or diesel. This will allow departments to concentrate their spending on improving or expanding services at the same time that their carbon emissions drop.
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