Bisbee Senior Center Embraces Solar Power: 20-Year Deal Struck with APS – BNN Breaking

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In a significant move towards sustainability, the Bisbee Senior Center is set to harness solar energy, courtesy of a collaborative effort with Arizona Public Service (APS). This initiative, finalized during the city council meeting on February 20, marks a pivotal shift for the center, transitioning from propane to a more economical and environmentally friendly power source.

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Turning Parking Spaces into Power Sources

The quest for a suitable city building to host solar panels encountered obstacles, notably the requirement for 20 contiguous parking spaces, which the new city hall could not meet. However, the senior center’s parking lot emerged as an ideal location. The installation not only generates electricity but also provides shaded parking, enhancing comfort for center visitors. Steve Pauken, City Manager, shared insights into the project’s alignment with the APS program’s final year, emphasizing the dual benefits of electricity generation and shaded parking.

A Win-Win Agreement

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The agreement with APS is a landmark deal, positioning the Bisbee Senior Center at the forefront of renewable energy adoption in public facilities. Under the 20-year contract, APS commits to installing, operating, and maintaining the solar panels at no cost to the city. In return, the city will receive a $250 monthly credit for the duration of the agreement. This arrangement not only secures a steady income stream for the city but also aligns with APS’s goal of achieving 100% alternative electrical energy production by 2050.

Long-Term Benefits and Community Support

The transition to solar power is expected to yield significant long-term savings for the senior center, particularly by switching heating systems and kitchen appliances to electric. The unanimous approval of the contract by Mayor Ken Budge and the council members reflects strong community support for sustainable initiatives. Additionally, the city council’s endorsement of 2018 updates to various international codes underscores Bisbee’s commitment to modern, efficient, and sustainable infrastructure development.

As the Bisbee Senior Center embarks on this solar-powered journey, the initiative serves as a beacon for other communities contemplating renewable energy projects. The collaboration between the city of Bisbee and APS exemplifies how public-private partnerships can effectively address environmental challenges while benefiting local communities. This project not only contributes to reducing carbon emissions but also sets a precedent for sustainable development in municipal facilities.

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