Columbus Dedicates City’s First Large Scale Solar Energy System
Fleet Facility is Largest Municipal Roof Mounted System in Ohio
The Columbus Division of Fleet Management has covered its roof with 2,650 solar panels expected to produce almost half of the building’s electricity needs. The 240-watt panels installed at 4211 Groves Road contain enough electricity to power 85 homes for a year and reduce of greenhouse gas emissions by 566 tons. This is the first City of Columbus facility with a large-scale solar energy system and the largest of its kind in Ohio.
“Not only will we be using renewable energy from the sun, but we will be reducing our energy costs over the next two decades,” Mayor Michael B. Coleman said. “This is yet another important step toward our goal of becoming the greenest city in America.”
The project was acquired by General Energy Solutions USA in November 2012 from a local solar developer, Tipping Point Renewable Energy. GES partnered with Premier Power Renewable Energy and local companies Spectrum Capital Energy and Settle Mutter Electric to complete the project. The project will provide energy to the City of Columbus through a 20-year agreement approved by City Council in November.
“This project allows the City of Columbus to lower our carbon footprint without incurring any upfront costs,” said Councilmember Priscilla R. Tyson, chair of the Finance Committee. “The installation of these panels maintains our commitment to embracing green energy solutions for years to come.”
If qualified as an exempt energy facility under Ohio law, the project could be exempted from state personal property taxes. As part of the qualification process, Franklin County has designated itself to be an Alternative Energy Zone with the hope of attracting more alternative energy projects.
“This alternative energy zone designation makes us competitive with other states and with other counties in Ohio who are competing for the green energy jobs of the future,” said County Commission President John O’Grady. “By establishing the appropriate tax incentives to support alternative energy, we will attract more of these projects, more jobs, and more private-sector investments that benefit our entire community.”
This is the second roof mounted solar project the city has completed. The first is at Columbus’ Bicentennial Park, on top of the Milestone 229 Restaurant overlooking the Scioto Mile. Last year, it generated 57,721 kWh of electricity.
“GES is honored to help Columbus embrace solar energy, a safe, renewable and efficient way to power our communities with minimal impact on our environment,” said David Su, CEO of General Energy Solutions USA. “It is fitting that this project for the City of Columbus is our first in North America to be completed, as GES executive team members, myself included, have strong ties to Columbus and the Midwest.”
Description of Project Partners:
The City of Columbus is the 15th largest city in the United States. Mayor Michael B. Coleman started his sustainability initiative in 2005, naming it “Get Green Columbus”. More information can be found online at www.getgreencolumbus.org.
General Energy Solutions USA (GES USA), is proud to help our clients secure a brighter and cleaner future by harnessing solar power to efficiently, safely and responsibly meet our energy needs, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and decreasing reliance on traditional fuels. Based in Costa Mesa, California, GES USA is the North American branch of General Energy Solutions, a global solar energy systems provider headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan. GES USA specializes in developing photovoltaic (PV) solar panel projects – including a 25MW solar farm at the Indianapolis International Airport – and other solar energy systems for corporations, municipalities and more. For more information, please visit www.gesyw.com.
Tipping Point Renewable Energy is an energy services company dedicated to helping our customers save money on energy costs via clean technology while creating jobs for veterans through its unique Solar by Soldiers® program. The company has developed solar energy projects for commercial businesses throughout Ohio and is currently developing a portfolio of solar power purchase agreements to help school districts and local government entities save money. Tipping Point is also developing innovative products that will help drive down costs of installation in the solar industry.
Premier Power is a global developer and builder of solar power plants for the residential, commercial and utility markets. We develop, design, engineer, construct, and operate solar power plants for maximum performance. We have built over 1,000 solar power plants across the US and Europe. Our difference is our proprietary yield optimization process, which allows us to build solar power plants with substantially higher output and efficiency than the industry standard. This results in an increase in the return on investment of up to 30% for our customers. Premier Power has built projects for Pacific Gas and Electric, PUMA, OTIS Elevators and Jay Leno among others. For more information visit www.premierpower.com.
Since 1995, Settle Muter Electric has been dedicated to building relationships with our clients and providing quality electrical installations. SME performs electrical installations and services including: High Voltage, Building Controls and Renewable Energy within all major markets. Our customers include Universities, Commercial and Medical campuses, Water Treatment and Industrial facilities. With our team of more than 100 professionals, SME provides a hands-on approach, focusing on schedule, budget, craftsmanship and communication.
Spectrum Capital Energy LLC provides financial and development consulting services to renewable energy developers, engineering procurement contractors, financial partners, and non-energy based companies in both the private and public sectors. Spectrum, owned by Patricia Shorr, focuses on sustainable solutions and infrastructure development and has extensive experience managing the development and construction of renewable energy projects from concept to completion. Spectrum received certification by the City of Columbus as a Female Business Enterprise in January 2013.