Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 3:48 pm | A Few Clouds 62º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara County’s New $5.2 Million Solar Panel System Up and Running

The array, installed on the hillside behind the jail, is designed to cut electricity costs and carbon emissions

Santa Barbara County is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint and cut electricity costs with the recent installation of a $5.2 million array of solar panels on the hillside behind the County Jail.

The electricity generated by the project is currently being used to power many county buildings, such as the jail, the Sheriff Administration office, the 9-1-1 call center, the Election Office, the Clerk Recorder Assessor office, and the mental and public health hospitals, according to county energy manager Roy Hapeman.

Hapeman said the array is expected to generate 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of power per year — an amount sufficient enough to power 100 homes — and will account for about a third of the energy needed to fully power the site.

The 4,500 panels used in the array were constructed by Solar World in Camarillo and installed by Santa Barbara-based Endelos Energy Inc.

Construction for the project began in September 2011, but it was not up and running until May.

The county was able to finance the installation using money from federal Quality Energy Conservation Bonds, a debt policy that allows local and state governments to borrow money from the federal government to fund energy conservation-related projects. The bonds have a 15-year term with an effective rate of 1.2 percent.

The county will also receive a $1.7 million rebate from the California Solar Initiative.

Hapeman said the county expects to save about $12 million in electricity costs throughout the system’s operation and reduce its carbon emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 150 cars off the road or planting 20,000 trees a year.

Noozhawk intern Patrick Kulp can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
"We both love this business. We strive to make life long relationships from each real estate transaction."

Full Profile >