July 6, 2012
On Tuesday, the City of Clayton, MO, celebrated the installation of the first panel of a160kW solar array at Clayton's new police station.
Clayton's solar array will be the largest non-utility owned solar energy project in Missouri. It is designed to produce 204,513 killowatt-hours of electricity a year, equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power 19 typical homes, or enough electricity to provide for all of the energy needs of the police parking garage and offset a portion of the main building's needs.
The 327 solar panels in the array are being installed atop an elevated structural steel trellis, specially designed to support the solar canopy and preserve approximately 50 parking spaces. In addition to generating electricity, the solar canopy will simultaneously reduce the heat island effect of the garage and cool cars by shading the otherwise exposed concrete top surface of the parking structure.
Mayor Linda Goldstein said the bulk of the cost of the $1.1 million solar canopy will be paid for by a $661,500 grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' stewardship of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ("stimulus") funds. The city will also get a $100,00 rebate from Ameren.
Paric Corp. is renovating the Heritage Building at 10 South Brentwood into the city's new police station. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources provided another $232,000 grant for energy efficiency retrofits to the building, including improvements in the building envelope and installation of a new, energy-efficient HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system.
Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director Sara Pauley said the that combination of energy-efficiency retrofits with the installation of the solar canopy will cut the City of Clayton's energy bills by approximately $205,000 a year at current energy prices.
Paric is on track to complete the $14.9 million renovation project in early 2013. The Lawrence Group is the architect.
Brightergy, a St. Louis company founded in 2003, is the solar engineer and has the contract to install the solar array. Kaemmerlen Electric is the electrical contractor handling the electrical portion of the installation.
U.S. Congressman Russ Carnahan, on hand for the installation ceremony, praised Clayton as a national model of a community seeking to practice sustainability. He also praised local electric contractors and tradespeople for establishing the training through the IBEW-NECA joint apprenticeship program to train works to perform the kind of work Clayton requires.
Carnahan said sustainability endeavors such as Clayton's create jobs for local workers and business for local companies.