Solar Power Project

In April 2015, the City approved a development agreement (PDF) with OpTerra Energy Services to perform an energy assessment for the installation of solar power at City Hall, the Wastewater Treatment Plant and Ponds, Water Wells Number 1, Number 6, and Number 7 and at Patriot Park and to prepare recommendations that would identify potential energy improvements and operational changes that could be implemented at each of these sites to realize future energy cost savings.
Solar panels in a field.
The primary purpose of the assessment and the recommendations was to provide an economic basis for the implementation of Energy Conservation Measures and to negotiate and execute an Energy Service Contract which would provide for, among other things, engineering, procurement, installation, construction and training service. The Energy Service Agreement outlines a master project schedule and the process that will be used to coordinate the work.

Implementing the Energy Conservation Measures

On October 27th, 2015, the City approved an energy service contract to implementation of energy conservation measures. The proposed scope of work is divided into 2 distinct phases. Phase 1 involves the installation of energy management equipment including the construction of solar panels Phase 2 would be the replacement of the City's outdated water meters and irrigation control systems and only be implemented after the Water Master Plan is complete and the new water user fees are established during the next year. Both projects relate to increased effectiveness of city operations and the preservation of natural resources.

Costs of the Project

The total construction cost for Phase 1 related to the Solar and Energy Conservation Measures is $4,120,377. Including the cost of finance and interest charges, the total project cost is $5,809,187 and will produce $255,964 of annual savings related to reduced energy bills resulting from the production of solar energy, $17,770 in savings related to energy conservation measures (ECM) and $5,078 in general savings related to reduced maintenance costs. The projected net benefits of the project (including solar, energy conservation and maintenance savings) for a 25 year period is $4,469,248.

The total construction cost for Phase 2 related to the installation of new water meters and related improvements is $2,856,465. Including the cost of finance and interest charges, the total project cost is $3,844,724 which will generate $137,962 in annual energy conservation savings (ECM) and $100,475 in maintenance savings related to utility management. The projected net benefits of the project (including increased revenue from the new meters and maintenance savings) for a 25 year period is $6,128,415.

Excluding financing, the total cost of the proposed projects, which includes design, project management, construction, bonds, and overhead/profit, is $6,976,842. The total cost, including $2,677,069 in interest financing, is $9,653,911. Most of the financing of this project will be the obligation of our Utilities Services that are operated like independent enterprises. The projected savings from the energy conservation measures and the efficiency in the distribution of water and utilization of staff offset the initial investment that the City has made with the approval of this Energy Conservation Project.

Approval of this project is consistent with the City's Energy Action Plan which has provides guidance for Greenfield to establish and achieve energy efficiency and conservation goals that will also significantly reduce the negative impacts off high energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions within the community.

View staff reports regarding the solar power project.