Florida Utility Completes City Hall Solar Project

With the installation of solar panels atop Jacksonville City Hall, JEA has completed the first phase of a program to make local government buildings more efficient users of electricity and water.

Jacksonville, Florida – May 26, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] JEA and the City of Jacksonville started the program in the fall of 2002. Since that time, JEA and its energy services subcontractor, Chevron Energy Solutions, have installed solar systems at City Hall, the Prime Osborne Convention Center, and the Police Memorial Building. In some cases, like that at city hall, solar power is converted to AC electricity and fed into the building’s power system, resulting in a slight reduction to the building’s energy bills. In other cases, solar thermal systems are used to pre-heat water sent to the building water heater – which is typically the second largest energy user in a building or home. All of the installations will also help JEA meet a voluntary goal to attain 7.5 percent of electric generating capacity from renewable resources, such as solar, by 2015. JEA is already among the top utility producers of solar power nationwide. Since launching its solar initiative in 1999, JEA has brought 222 kW of solar power on line. In addition, JEA receives credit for 5,188 kilowatts being generated through a Solar Incentive Program established in 2002. In addition to solar installations, JEA has implemented other energy and water conservation measures at these and other city buildings – installing high-efficiency air conditioning units, LED traffic signals, efficient fluorescent lighting and water-conserving bathroom fixtures. So far, JEA has invested $7.2 million during Phase I of the program. The necessary technologies typically cost more to purchase and install than conventional systems, but JEA expects the recover the costs over time through the energy savings produced by the project.
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