Minneapolis, February 22, 2010 — Honeywell installed the first of two solar photovoltaic arrays for the City of Wilmington, Del.
The solar installations, which will consist of almost 3,400 panels, are part of a broader $14.5-million energy retrofit and renewable energy program that will decrease utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions tied to city-owned facilities and infrastructure.
The program will help the city meet the environmental commitments it adopted as part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. It is also expected to create or sustain more than 80 jobs; this includes work for several local contractors Honeywell hired to help complete the upgrades.
The energy improvements will reduce electricity consumption by an estimated 2.8-million kilowatt-hours per year — enough energy to power more than 260 homes annually.
The program will also decrease carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 4.4-million pounds each year. According to figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing more than 380 cars from the road.
The city will pay for the entire program from the energy savings the upgrades produce. Honeywell guarantees about $1.14 million in savings per year under a 20-year performance contract so the work will not increase city operating budgets or require additional taxpayer dollars.
In addition, the improvements are expected to generate $16 million in savings above the guaranteed amount over the course of the contract.
The first solar array, one of several additions to the city’s Porter Reservoir Filtration Plant, is expected to generate 650,000 kWh of electricity annually and cover nearly 25 percent of the load at the plant.
Honeywell will construct a second, roof-mounted array at the Public Works Yard and Municipal Complex, which will add 300,000 kWh of renewable energy. This array will be financed by a Clean Renewable Energy Bond from the Department of Treasury.
Additional work under the program included converting city traffic lights to more efficient and luminous light-emitting diode (LED) technology, and upgrading lighting and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) controls and equipment in eleven Public Works and Public Safety Department facilities.
Honeywell expects to complete all the conservation measures this year. The company and city officials are also planning a second phase of improvements and are currently developing a renewable energy and bio-solids facility for Wilmington’s wastewater treatment plant.