The Madera County Board of Supervisors announced at its March 1st Board meeting that it has completed the latest chapter in its successful solar and energy efficiency program with OpTerra Energy Services energy performance contracting. OpTerra’s press release is shared below. You can watch a short news clip and hear more from County leadership on efforts to save the County money through the project here at ABC News.
The development of the program began in 2013 and delivery of energy improvements across three major County sites has been aligned with the County’s broader objective to maintain fiscal stewardship while improving community facilities. Madera County is set to save nearly $15 million in energy savings as a result of the comprehensive solar and energy efficiency upgrades.
Much-Needed Upgrades for County Facilities
Starting in late 2013, Madera County leadership collaborated with a California-based team of engineers from OpTerra to develop an approach to improve energy performance and enhance three County facilities – the County Library, Government Center, and Jail Complex serving the County Jail, Juvenile Hall, Juvenile Services Division, Boot Camp, and Sheriff’s Department. The energy program began construction in late 2014, just in time to leverage $1.4 million in state renewable incentives offered through the California Solar Initiative (CSI). This was one of the last large CSI awards given throughout the state before the historic rebate program ended. PG&E representatives were present at yesterday’s event to commend the County for this significant CSI award, presenting a check for the entire rebate to the County.
OpTerra worked collaboratively with County staff to complete the final planning and engineering on the program, and together they received all necessary approvals so that construction was able to proceed immediately after financing had been secured. At the March 1st Board meeting, the OpTerra team presented project close-out details on the work done across the County’s service and administrative sites. OpTerra installed solar energy systems at the County’s Jail Complex and Government Center to produce more than 1.6 megawatts of clean, sustainable energy annually, while HVAC upgrades to the Madera Library’s 40-year old mechanical equipment help generate additional savings in both electricity and maintenance costs.
Recognition for Sustainability through Fiscal Stewardship
As a result of Madera’s successful focus on sustainability, the Board of Supervisors was presented with a customer recognition award by OpTerra leadership acknowledging the County’s tremendous energy savings achievement.
Chairman of the Board Rick Farinelli celebrated the milestones the County project was able to achieve as a result of leveraging state incentives and low-cost financing to enhance building and energy performance. “As a result of our work with OpTerra, the County has improved comfort in public facilities, reduced the impact of utility rate increases, cut our electricity bills by half, and made critical investments in its infrastructure to propel the County into a more sustainable, environmentally sound future.”
John Mahoney, CEO of OpTerra, stated, “The OpTerra team is proud to have worked with the County of Madera on this impressive sustainable energy project focused on positively impacting community services while reducing utility costs for the County. Our work together shows the power of strong public-private engagement.”
As Eric Fleming, County Administrative Officer reiterated, “With this extensive sustainability program, we have helped protect our local taxpayers and helped showcase Madera County as a leader in energy efficiency and renewable technology. As Madera County continues to grow, it must continue to make these critical investments in its infrastructure that not only prepare our County for a more sustainable future, but do it in a way that ultimately saves our taxpayers real dollars. I am proud of the thoughtful way our Board has continuously looked to move Madera County forward.”
With increased efficiency and life expectancy of County facilities, Madera County is well equipped to continue effectively serving its residents and community as a result of their comprehensive energy program.
PG&E presented the (symbolic) check for $1.3 million in incentives to the County at the March 1st meeting.