Using a $765,188 grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce, Schneider Electric is installing 100-kW photovoltaic solar arrays on a college business building. The panels will contribute to the institution’s annual energy and operational cost savings of more than $224,000 annually. In addition, the college is expected to receive utility rebates in excess of $185,000.
In March 2014, the Washington State Department of Commerce awarded 45 public entities $14 million in grant funds, helping to leverage an additional $35 million in non-state funds for energy saving and solar projects. The immediate goal of the Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants program is to help stimulate Washington’s economy by creating jobs. Longer-term goals include reducing energy costs at the state’s public higher education institutions, local government facilities and state agencies.
Columbia Basin College’s three-phased, $9.5 million initiative spans over 20 facilities and incorporates a variety of energy efficiency upgrades to enhance classroom and building comfort, while reducing energy consumption through:
- Lighting retrofits and occupancy controls
- Intelligent building automation system
- Animated sign replacement
- Photovoltaic solar array installation and integration with energy metering system
- HVAC replacements and upgrades
- Heating system decentralization
- Chiller plant optimization
- Campus-wide energy metering system and monitoring-based commissioning
- Underground piping replacement
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