Dubuque News

Posted on: January 11, 2017

Contract for Rooftop Solar Arrays on Five Fire Stations Approved

Rooftop Solar Array

The Dubuque City Council recently approved agreements with Eagle Point Solar of Dubuque for the installation of rooftop solar arrays on five of the City’s six fire stations.

The project is expected to reduce electricity costs at the stations by more than 30 percent.

The contract award follows a request for proposal process which generated responses from five firms.  The City Council unanimously approved a power purchase agreement and a collateral assignment agreement with Eagle Point Solar for the installation of rooftop solar arrays on the Fire Department Headquarters at 11 W. Ninth St., Station 2 at 2180 John F. Kennedy Rd., Station 3 at 3155 Central Ave., Station 4 at 1697 University Ave., and Station 5 at 689 S. Grandview Ave.

Once installed, the arrays are expected to permanently reduce the City’s cost of each kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity utilized in the five fire stations by more than 30 percent.  Specifically, the terms of the contract include a $0.085/kWh initial rate with a three percent inflation rate. This compares with the current aggregate Alliant Energy rate for the fire facilities of $0.116/kWh. The only upfront funding required for this project from the City is for equipment upgrades to allow internet connectivity for the solar arrays, not to exceed $1,500.

The percentage of electricity use offset and carbon dioxide offset at each station varies, due to available roof space and usage at that site:

Station                           System Size    Annual Electricity Offset     Carbon Offset

Headquarters                 66.15 kW          37%                                                1,651 tons

Station 2                          35.28 kW          96%                                                887 tons

Station 3                          27.72 kW          55%                                                697 tons

Station 4                         15.75 kW          26%                                                 377 tons

Station 5                           5.04 kW           28%                                                128 tons

Total System Size       150.8 kW                                                                3,740 tons

According to Eagle Point Solar, the combination of the five solar arrays, over their lifetime, will offset the equivalent of: planting 87,141 trees, the reduction of 7.48 million automobile miles driven (or 381,480 gallons of gasoline), recycling 11,818 tons of waste rather than landfilling it, displacing carbon dioxide emissions from the annual electricity use of 425 homes, or 1,822 tons of coal burned.“

The Fire Department has focused, first, on energy efficiency in their facilities,” said City of Dubuque Sustainable Community Coordinator Cori Burbach. “Installation of solar arrays is an opportunity for us to continue to reduce utility costs while also helping the community reach our goal to reduce greenhouse gases 50 percent by 2030.”Installation is expected to begin in late January 2017 and be completed in late February, weather permitting. 

For more information, contact City of Dubuque Sustainable Community Coordinator Cori Burbach at 563-690-6038 or cburbach@cityofdubuque.org.

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