This article was originally published on the Fairfax County Government News Center.
A significant milestone was reached in Alexandria on Wednesday – the completion of the first solar installations using an energy performance contract at two locations, Woodlawn and Reston fire stations.
The project includes rooftop solar photovoltaic arrays for onsite power generation at both stations, totaling 100 kW. Combined, the projects will provide about 17 percent of the building’s electricity and save the county approximately $12,775 in energy costs in the first year. Annual savings are expected to rise as the price of electricity increases over time.
The project cost $469,257, but is eligible for a federal tax credit and should generate savings to offset the cost within 22 years.
Part of a Larger, Countywide Plan
Our Operational Energy Strategy has set a goal for carbon neutrality in facilities, fleet vehicles and county operations, including 50 percent of county electricity from renewable sources, by 2040. Reaching that goal requires a multi-pronged effort, including improving energy efficiency and conservation; adopting alternative technologies; reducing waste and water usage; and empowering behavior change.
We're working with CMTA, an engineering consulting and performance contracting company, to make energy, lighting and mechanical upgrades at 21 facilities, which includes energy efficiency upgrades already completed at Cub Run Rec Center, South Run Rec Center and the City of Fairfax Regional Library. These projects have accounted for annual reductions of approximately 33 percent in electric and 66 percent in natural gas consumption at the two recreation facilities, and a 12 percent reduction in electricity use at the library since startup in September 2022.
An energy improvement project at Spring Hill Rec Center broke ground in July and includes the largest geothermal heat pump HVAC system in a Fairfax County Park Authority facility.