Clean Renewable Energy Bonds for Solar Projectsby Michael Carson on Dec. 17, 2010, under Uncategorized
The City of Tucson General Services Department is moving forward to install solar panels on six City facilities to convert solar radiation into electricity.
Tucson’s Mayor and Council will discuss the projects on Tuesday, December 21, 2010, and with their approval, the General Services Department will issue $11.2 million in New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs). These bonds will be repaid through the Tucson Electric Power (TEP) Renewable Energy Standard Tariff (REST) rebate program and from energy savings generated. This project is projected to save the City $3.9 million in energy costs over the 25-year life of the project.
CREBs are bonds with a low effective interest rate, generally between 2.5 percent and 3 percent. The low interest rate and the negotiated rebates from TEP provide a unique opportunity to create and operate a project that will generate a positive cash flow for the City of Tucson and will not impact the City’s General Fund.
With the systems, the City of Tucson will be protected from future electricity rate increases because the solar sites are anticipated to generate 3.5 million kWh of energy per year, decreasing TEP bills. The project will create approximately 60 new solar jobs, save 2,782 tons of carbon dioxide and raise the City’s renewable electricity production from 2 percent to 4 percent.
With the issuance of the bonds, the six locations receiving the solar panels will be:
Thomas O. Price Service Center 1
Thomas O. Price Service Center 2
Patrick K. Hardesty Midtown Multi-Service Center
Randolph Recreation Center
Tucson Convention Center
Tucson Police Department’s new Crime Lab
Constructions on the solar projects are scheduled to begin in early 2011 and will take about one year to complete. For more information on this project, contact Doug Crockett, City of Tucson Energy Manager, at (520) 837-2616.