|Are you looking for a “cool” place to park your car while visiting the Chula Vista Civic Center? Then check out the new solar carport being installed in the visitors/employee parking lot on the Northern part of the complex. There you will find a 6,500 square foot covered parking structure featuring solar photovoltaic panels.
The new parking area not only provides shade to 36 vehicles, but also produces clean, sustainable electricity for Building 300 in the complex. Over the past year, Chula Vista has installed new solar arrays at 11 sites including recreation centers, the Public Works Yard, the Animal Care Facility and Norman Park Senior Center. These solar photovoltaic systems combined produce enough electricity in one year to power 125 homes.
Funds for the new solar photovoltaic systems have been obtained from federal stimulus grants, California solar rebates, and a low interest loan from the California Energy Commission. These funds are specifically designed to be used for energy saving projects and cannot be used for other services such as police, fire, library and recreation. Electric savings to the city from the new solar panels will cover the cost of the loan within ten years.
Solar energy is one of four major sustainable energy accomplishments by the City of Chula Vista recently. Others include LED streetlight installation in residential areas, using biodiesel fuel on city vehicles, and community programs offering appliance rebates and home retrofit incentives for energy efficiency improvements.
A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for the Civic Center’s new solar panel parking structure on October 25 from 2-3 p.m. The city and its project partners welcome the public to attend.