Council gives nod to Chevron Energy Solutions
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Dec 20, 2012 | 2045 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
What: Patterson City Council Meeting

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18

Where: Patterson City Hall, 1 Plaza

Who: Mayor Luis Molina, Councilwomen Deborah Novelli and Sheree Lustgarten and Councilman Larry Buehner were present. Councilman Dominic Farinha was absent.

The future of Patterson may be brighter — and less expensive in the bargain — following a unanimous City Council vote to pursue a contract to install LED streetlights and capture solar energy.

Council members gave City Manager Rod Butler the authority Tuesday, Dec. 18, to negotiate with Chevron Energy Solutions to retrofit city-owned streetlights and install solar panels.

The measure carries a price tag of more than $5.4 million that is expected to be balanced in time by savings in the city’s $375,000 annual energy bill.

According to a city report authored by Butler, Chevron Energy Solutions and city staff members have discussed installation of photovoltaic solar panels at the city’s sewage treatment plants, new corporation yard, Hammon Senior Center and Patterson Aquatic Center.

Those panels would generate more than 1 megawatt of electricity, enough to cover about 94 percent of the facilities’ power use.

The outline also calls for the conversion of nearly 800 new city-owned streetlights to LED technology and improvements to indoor and outdoor lighting at the aquatic center, the corporation yard, both city fire stations and the sewage treatment plant.

Lighting changes would reduce the city’s electricity use by 2.1 million kilowatt hours and the corresponding utility bill by more than $220,000 per year.

Turlock Irrigation District, the city’s power provider, is offering a $400,000 solar and lighting rebate to the city’s energy bill that will come over time for reducing energy usage. A $6 million cost savings is predicted during the 30-year projected life of the solar panels, the report states.

The total cost of the project is expected to be $5,445,133.

The city has applied for a California Energy Commission loan of $2.8 million at a 1 percent annual interest rate for 15 years and another loan called a Tax Exempt Lease Purchase for more than $1.7 million, leaving the city to cover the rest — about $900,000 — through various city funds unspecified in the report.

Cost savings and incentives are projected to pay for the loan payments during the first 16 years and save the city $450,000 in energy costs each year going forward.

Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31, or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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