Clovis News

Clovis unveils $3.4 million solar project for police, fire departments

Clovis city officials unveiled a $3.4 million solar project Monday that will help power the headquarters of the city's police and fire departments.

The solar panels for the 70,000-square-foot building have been operating since last month. It's the largest public solar project in Clovis.

The project is being paid for with a 14-year, 3% interest loan of $953,238 from the California Energy Commission and a second, city-financed 20-year loan for $2.45 million at 4.95% interest.

The city also will get a rebate from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. that will cover $600,000 of the project's cost, City Manager Robert Woolley said.

"Once the loans are paid, we are looking at free energy," he said.

Clovis officials expect to save $3.37 million over the 25-year life of the solar panels.

"The main thing is that we are working on sustainability and helping the environment by using renewable energy sources," Woolley said.

The city expects to save more than $128,205 annually -- about 47% in electricity costs -- for the headquarters.

Solar panels also are powering two city fire stations at Temperance and Alluvial avenues and at Pollasky Avenue and Seventh Street. At the fire stations, where solar panels were installed last year, the city is exceeding initial savings projections, Woolley said.

The Clovis Veterans Memorial District completed a solar project for its downtown Clovis building in 2009. It was the largest in Clovis until now.