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San Luis Obispo County energizes first solar projects

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The County of San Luis Obispo has completed two solar projects at the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Dairy Creek golf course and the Department of Social Services on South Higuera Street, both located in San Luis Obispo.

These solar parking canopies are the first of several County solar projects expected to exceed 552 kilowatts (kW) marking a significant sustainability milestone for the County.

The two projects, built and funded by ForeFront Power, are planned to provide more than 80 percent of the electricity needs on site. The County looks forward to saving more than $1 million in electricity costs in the next 20 years.

Thanks to an Energy Services Agreement (ESA) structure, the County will buy the electricity generated by the solar systems at a reasonable, reliable rate. It helps the county to purchase electricity at a less competitive rate than the local utilities without paying upfront costs to the grid. The County is able to transfer funds from energy to community programs with the savings generated.

“We spend a significant amount of money on electricity across our facilities, parks, and water assets. Now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all public agencies will face budget challenges. It’s great timing for the County to save money on electricity so we can directly support the Department of Social Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation in their efforts to provide important services to the community.”

Annie Secrest, San Luis Obispo County’s energy and water coordinator.

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