(From the May 6 press release:)
The Pima County Board of Supervisors at its May 5 meeting unanimously approved a 20-year contract to have solar-covered parking structures installed at 11 locations in the county.
The new solar installations are part of an ongoing effort to integrate renewable energy in County operations, said Linda Mayro, director of the county’s Office of Sustainability and Conservation. The Board-adopted 2014 Sustainable Action Plan requires the county to obtain 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
Under the agreement, Tucson-based Solon builds and owns the covered parking structures and property owned by the county, which buys the solar-generated electric power from Solon.
“We were delighted that the Board of Supervisors approved the contract to move forward the solar installation projects the County has been planning since 2007,” Mayro said. “These new installations will save the taxpayers approximately $6 million over the next 20 years.”
In addition, the Sustainable Action Plan addresses renewable energy needs and reduces the county’s carbon footprint, tracks the county’s progress toward meeting targets for green building, introduces alternative fuel vehicles, conserves and manages water and land, reduces waste and increases the percentage of recyclable content in purchases.
Solon will provide the solar-covered parking structures at Kino Stadium and its south clubhouse; at two locations at the Juvenile Court building; the Sheriff Administration Building; Mulcahy YMCA; Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Headquarters; Interagency Advocacy Center; Adult Probation Facility; Kino Service Center; and the Election Department Building.
Mayro said the county’s efforts have already saved nearly $2 million, avoided almost 15,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions, conserved 9.4 million gallons of water and have supported local job growth. The Office of Sustainability and Conservation tracks its progress toward meeting objectives of the Sustainable Action Plan through an Annual Report Card, which is produced almost entirely through staff volunteer efforts.
“While the Sustainable Action Plan provides a roadmap to help us to explore how greening operations can save money, it also focuses on the other benefits of such efforts,” Mayro said. “When we can save water, help preserve open space, improve air quality, and reduce waste, we are in effect helping to create a community that is healthy and clean for everyone to live in and enjoy.”
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