Tag: solar energy

DWP Goes Solar

Big Bear lake, CA, November 14, 2014 – Not long ago, the City of Big Bear Lake put together a design/build solar contract that was partially funded by U.S. Department of Energy grant funding. The original solar projects proposed by the city, which include the new solar parking kiosks in the lower lot at the Civic Center which will generate more than 50% of the building’s electricity, came in under budget. The excess grant funds would be lost if not used, which prompted DWP General Manager Reggie Lamson to suggest installing solar panels on the 4200 square feet of south facing roof on the DWP’s office building. Once it was determined that the solar project would be feasible, the City added the DWP project as a second amendment to the original contract. The grant funded half of the $303,000 project cost with the rest coming from DWP reserves. The solar panels are expected to offset the annual $38,000 per year electricity bill by $26,000, making the payback period about six years. The panels should be operational as of tomorrow. If you’re curious how much solar energy is being produced, there is a display screen in the lobby of the office building showing current solar energy...

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Civic Center Going Solar

Big Bear Lake, CA, June 12, 2014 – The City of Big Bear Lake received a Dept. of Energy grant for solar demonstration projects and already have one project up and running and another one  in the works. Currently, solar equipment has been running continuously since March on a warm storage building in the Public Works Yard and will generate an energy savings of $56,000 this year. The City has decided to move ahead on a second project that will also benefit from grant funding. It is an 8000 square foot parking canopy which will be topped with a solar energy collection system. The canopy will be located in the lot on the northeast corner of the Civic Center property and will provide covered parking for about 25 vehicles. More importantly, it will generate a yearly energy savings of about $80,000, or 56% of the Civic Center’s yearly energy costs. The project must be completed by mid October to ensure receiving the grant money. The DOE grant covers 50% of the costs of these projects with the balance being paid by the City. The annual electrical savings will payback the City’s contribution in 7...

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County Considers Solar Energy in Rural Areas

San Bernardino County, CA, July 26, 2013 – This week, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors unanimously extended the moratorium on commercial solar energy projects in rural communities, which affects unincorporated areas of the Big Bear Valley. County Supervisors say they have made headway in the planning process of adding a renewable energy component to the General Plan, but that they need more time to define the development code to heighten certainty for solar industry. In a press release, Supervisor James Ramos said, “Adding a renewable energy component to the County’s General Plan is crucial. The current plan is nearly silent on renewable energy and the development code permits solar projects to back up against residential areas in the unincorporated parts of the County. We need the next three to six months to properly plan for the impact these solar projects have on the rural communities of our county….Proper planning will provide protections for all.” The protections promised include preventing financial investments into a project that could later be zoned against in the new codes, and safeguarding labor against litigation if a project is challenged.   First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood said solar projects already approved or with applications on file will not be affected by the extension. “I want to be clear, San Bernardino County welcomes renewable energy project applications,” Lovingood said. “This extension is a balanced approach that will enable...

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