Solar power’s future in Fairfax County got a bit sunnier Oct. 20 after the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a lease agreement that will let a private contractor install solar-energy panels on the rooftops of 10 buildings at eight county-owned sites.
Under the power-purchase agreement, Sigora Solar will install, operate and maintain photovoltaic panels at:
• The Herrity Building, a 247,000-square-foot building located at 12055 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax.
• The Pennino Building, a 281,810-square-foot facility located at 12011 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax.
• North County Government Center, a 37,049-square-foot facility located at 1801 Cameron Glen Drive in Reston.
• Reston Community Center, a 49,850-square-foot building located at 2310 Colts Neck Road in Reston.
• The Springfield Warehouse, a 211,297-square-foot warehouse and storage facility located at 6800 Industrial Road in Springfield.
• The Lab Building, an 11,300-square-foot laboratory located at the Noman M. Cole Pollution Control Plant, 9399 Richmond Highway in Lorton.
• Providence Community Center, a 31,884-square-foot facility located at 3001 Vaden Drive in the Vienna area.
• The I-66 Transfer Station (49,045 square feet), Worker’s Facility Building (8,375 square feet) and Truck Wash Building (2,625 square feet), located at 4500 West Ox Road in Fairfax.
Sigora Solar will sell electricity generated at the sites to the county for 25 to 28 years for 0.069 cents per kilowatt hour, which is nearly one-fifth less than the 0.085 cents per kilowatt hour that the county government currently pays.
County staff did not have estimates for how much money the agreement will end up saving the county government, saying those figures likely will be available in three or four months once the contractor designs the rooftop installations. Cost savings likely will increase over time, staff said.
Fairfax County Public Schools already has authorized the installation of solar panels at several of its schools.
The eight sites approved by the Board of Supervisors were ones for which county staff and Sigora Solar were ready to move forward with implementation of rooftop panels. County staff will come back to the board in the future with 18 more proposed solar sites, officials said.
Reston resident William Penniman commended the Board of Supervisors and county staff for the agreement with Sigora Solar and urged the county to install solar panels at other potential sites.
“That offers the opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint for Fairfax County, consistent with an emerging policy to get to net zero,” Penniman said. “It’ll save money and it’s stabilize the budget because you’ll have at least one [cost] figure that won’t be bopping up and down like [in] other energy crises.”
Penniman also recommended that officials accelerate the county’s use of electric vehicles, saying their cost rapidly is decreasing and they produce only one-third the carbon of gasoline-powered vehicles.
The Board of Supervisors’ Transportation Committee in November will discuss the potential of expanding the county’s electric-vehicle fleet, said Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill), who chairs the committee.
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