Clovis News

3 Clovis city buildings could soon go solar

The Clovis police and fire headquarters and two fire stations could soon be going solar.

City Council members voted Monday night to analyze financing options for the three solar projects. A final decision could be made in December or January.

The city expects to spend about $3.4 million on the projects. By using solar energy, the city will save about 47% in electricity costs, or about $128,205 annually for the three buildings.

Clovis also could qualify for a $500,000 rebate from the state's solar initiative, which would drop the overall cost to about $2.9 million.

Over 25 years, the city will save about $3.37 million, according to projections provided by Sacramento-area based Compass Energy Solutions, the city's consultant.

"The council has asked about solar projects in the past and didn't feel comfortable about the numbers and the payback , but now we have a project with a reasonable payback," said Robert Ford, the city's general services director.

He said the interest rates will not be known until city staff examines potential financing arrangements.

At that point, the City Council will have to decide whether to move ahead with the projects and hire a company for the installation.

A solar project for the 70,000- square-foot Clovis Police and Fire headquarters would be the largest public solar project in Clovis if approved by the council.

Earlier this month the Clovis Veterans Memorial District completed a solar project for its downtown Clovis building. As of now, it is the largest public agency solar project in Clovis.

In other action, the council voted to seek bids on a new 5-acre park at DeWolf and Barstow avenues. The city engineer estimates the park will cost $1.125 million to build.

The bids are scheduled to be opened Nov. 23. Barring too-high bids, construction should begin early next year.