Santa Maria planning new solar power project to help offset rising energy costs – KEYT

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SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The City of Santa Maria will soon install a new solar power project to help offset rising energy costs through the use of alternative sources and efficiencies.

On Tuesday night, Santa Maria Public Works Director Brett Fulgoni will discuss details of the plan during a meeting of the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Commission with an overview and presentation of the project.

The Santa Maria City Council previously approved the project in November 2023.

The plan includes the construction of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems at a number of city-owned locations, including City Well Number 12, Wastewater Treatment Plant, Civic Center, Police Department, Transit Yard, Paul Nelson Aquatic Center, James Hagerman Sports Center, and Minami Park.

When built, the project will minimally impact existing green spaces and trees within Santa Maria. Most notably would be the removal of trees at some of the sites to make room for the parking lot structures the solar panels would be located on.

The city estimated the project will provide $139,679 in first-year utility bill savings, and over $12 million over the life of the 20-year agreement.

The Commission Agenda Report added ForeFront Power, which will install and operate the solar power system, has typically hired 50% local contractors for their past construction projects, and the agreement also includes a commitment to hire at least 30% of all construction hours from targeted workers in disadvantaged communities within Santa Maria.

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