Missouri: EERE Funds Help Offset City Electricity Expenses
|Positive Impact:||EECBG grant allows city to install solar panels to offset annual electricity expenses.|
|Partners:||City of Ballwin|
|Clean Energy Sector:||Energy-saving homes, buildings, and manufacturing|
The Pointe at Ballwin Commons is seeing lower power bills. Leveraging Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds with a rebate from local utility company Ameren Missouri for a total of $181,000, the city installed more than 200 solar panels on the roof of the Pointe to offset costly annual electricity expenses of approximately $121,000. The city expects a 10-year payback period as a result of the solar-generated power. The solar panels not only result in saving the city money, but the solar energy generated eliminates the burning of 35 tons of coal annually—that’s equivalent to the amount needed to power just under six average U.S. residential homes for one year.
The City of Ballwin planned to install a 40-kilowatt (kW) solar panel array. However, due to lower-than-expected installation costs, the undertaking grew to a 60-kW project with an expected useable lifespan of 25–30 years, which is well beyond the projected return on investment. The array is expected to produce between 90,000 and 100,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. This renewable energy production will offset 10% of the facility’s total electricity usage (just over $12,000 worth of electricity cost savings per year).
In addition to the project at The Pointe, the City of Ballwin used EECBG funds to install a smaller, eight kW array on the city’s government center building. This smaller array is project to produce an energy savings of more than 10,000 kWh per year.
The Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs Office (WIP) provides funding and technical assistance to its partners in state and local governments, Indian tribes, and international agencies to facilitate the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
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