Simi Valley Goes Solar with New Contract, Plans Additional Contracts for EE


Excerpted coverage from the Simi Valley Acorn is below: get the full March 22nd story on the Simi Valley Acorn‘s website here.

The City of Simi Valley is going solar.

On Monday, the Simi Valley City Council unanimously approved a $9.5-million agreement with California-based OpTerra Energy Services to install nearly 7,000 solar panels at City Hall, the police station, the library, the senior center and the water quality control plant, said Brian Gabler, director of economic development.

The project also includes the installation of a new roof at City Hall and the replacement of a parking lot north of the library.

The solar power system is expected to cover one-third of the city government’s energy use, Gabler said.

With the contract’s approval, he said, the city will be able to preserve a $1.6-million grant through the California Solar Initiative, which funds solar upgrades on new or existing commercial, agricultural, government and nonprofit buildings. The state initiative also offers incentives based on the performance of the installed solar power systems.

In order to secure the grant, the city had to submit a number of documents by March 16, including the approved contract with OpTerra.

“(We) believe it’s beneficial for the city to move forward with the solar upgrades) at this time and to seek proposals for the remaining energy-conservation measures,” Gabler told the council Monday.

Last month, OpTerra proposed a $14.3-million contract to cover all energy-efficient measures, but city staff felt the price tag was too high, Gabler said. As a result, staff is seeking separate proposals for the remaining upgrades to the city’s HVAC systems and LED lights, among other infrastructure needs.

Councilmember Glen Becerra, who once worked for Southern California Edison, said the contract will be “financially advantageous” for the city.

Read more on the Simi Valley Acorn‘s website here. Looking for more on California local governments using energy performance contracting to implement energy efficiency and solar projects and save money? Click here.

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