Mike Sauber on the Town of Silver City Solar Parking Structure
If you’ve driven down Hudson past the Visitor’s Center recently you might have wondered…
“What are they up to now?
And the answer would be, “Everything under the sun.”
As a small town with limited resources, Silver City may not be on the bleeding edge of technology innovation but they’ve taken some bold steps recently regarding renewable energy. The most visible of these will be a new parking structure on the north end of the Visitor’s Center parking lot with a roof populated by solar panels. With the various incentives, the system will produce approximately $2,700 in savings per year for the first 12 years. After that, the offset savings would depend on the current (higher, no doubt) cost of electricity. v2 of the plan would include “charging stations” in which electric vehicles and bicycles parked there could be plugged in and recharged.
The project is funded primarily by the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act – otherwise fondly referred to as “stimulus money.” While it will generate revenue to offset the Town’s and the Visitor Center’s electric bill, it is also intended to serve as an educational tool that will hopefully “stimulate” people’s energy consciousness and in turn stimulate a future of green jobs, a cleaner environment and – hopefully – a sustainable, non-petroleum based economy.
All construction of the project is with local labor, and the Schott Solar Panels are not only made in the US, they are, in fact, made in Albuquerque.
We speak with Mike Sauber of the Office of Sustainability – a joint City / County agency.