Johnson Controls completes Phase One of energy savings project in Gunnison County


Johnson Controls has completed its Phase One project with Gunnison County, Colorado which included the installation of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and LED lighting in five county buildings.

The Phase One upgrades are the continuation of the County’s long-standing pledge to reducing its facilities and operations’ energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

For several years, the County has electrified and increased the performance of its facilities, and the introduction of PV generation is an exciting next step in a long-standing dedication to the the environmental effects of County operations.

The project was enabled by the Colorado Office of Energy.

Gunnison County officials were committed to using solar power to meet their strategic GHG reduction goals while evaluating their sustainability goal. Built on six County buildings, the completed solar arrays will total approximately 308 kilowatts (kW) of supplied power.

Two of the sites are located on buildings that were previously converted to all-electric heating and cooling using highly efficient heat pumps from ground source.

“There is a lot of pride in Gunnison County having large-scale solar arrays provide power for public buildings, proving our commitment to being a leader in sustainability. Reducing our County’s GHG emissions is a crucial part of our dedication to a greener, healthier community. Our partnership with Johnson Controls allows us to continue exploring new energy efficiency opportunities to serve future generations of Gunnison County.”

Jonathan Houck, county commissioner.

The project is leveraging energy cost savings by employing an ESA to help pay for the project over time. Moreover, this project is supported by additional funding secured through a grant of $497,500 from the Colorado Local Affairs Department (DOLA).

These methods of funding allowed the County to rapidly make essential changes to infrastructure for long-term sustainability.

“Funding from the DOLA Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund (EIAF) program is helping Coloradans socially or economically affected by the development, processing, or energy conversion of minerals and mineral fuels. It is also an incentive for eligible local governments to launch planning and implementation of renewable energy solutions that meet the needs vocalized by their communities.”

Rick M. Garcia, DOLA executive director.

“Johnson Controls has been making buildings efficient and safe for 135 years, and our obligation to deliver comprehensive, best in class solutions to our customers has never been more important. Solar and energy solutions like the ones we’ve implemented throughout Gunnison County’s facilities will continue to make the community a healthier place to live, work and play. These energy projects are the result of strong leadership at Gunnison County. They are an impressive force.”

Rowena Adams, performance InfrastructureTM account executive at Johnson Controls. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic phase one of this project was completed using safe social distancing methods to conform to the guidelines on health and safety.

Phase two of the project will be completed taking advantage of the same protection measures and is expected to be finished by fall 2020.

Phase two includes improvement of the building envelope within the Blackstock Government Building in the County and a ground source heat pump system that will dramatically reduce energy use and make the building the 3rd all-electric building in the County.

“Gunnison County has had a long-standing commitment to reducing energy use and lowering greenhouse gas emissions from its operations through energy efficiency and adoption of alternative HVAC strategies, such as ground source heat pumps. The solar arrays are an exciting next step along the energy journey the County has been on. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that is able to take the vision and values set by our elected leaders and efficiently and consistently turn that into great projects and outcomes for our community.”

John Cattles, sustainable operations director at Gunnison County.
Nedim Husomanovic

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