District Office Now Powered by the Sun
One notable sustainability improvement that was completed in summer of 2014 is the solar panel array at the District Office at Riverbend Park.
The solar panels and installation were made possible through grants from The Oregon Department of Energy, Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Renewable Energy and cash incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon, resulting in no cost to Bend Park and Recreation District taxpayers. Installation was by Sunlight Solar Energy Inc., a Bend commercial and residential solar system installer.
“Bend Park & Recreation District has been a leader in local environmentally sustainable practices,” said Mark Ellington, BPRD Facilities and Construction Manager. “Adding solar panels to the existing building helps the district to reduce consumption of nonrenewable resources used to produce grid-sourced electricity. We hope that other people will see the panels and consider them in their construction projects.”
Covering a large portion of the District administration building’s roof, the newly finished 42.9 kW system is expected to generate over 55,000 kW of electricity annually translating to over $3,000 in direct energy costs estimated to be saved annually. Built in 2009 and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified, the District office was constructed with the structural features necessary so that a solar system could be added later.
“Building to LEED’s gold certification standard is commendable and definitely contributed to lower installation costs. Bend Park & Recreation is a testament to the benefits of building solar ready,” stated Paul Israel, Sunlight Solar Energy Inc.’s president.
We are always looking for ways to make healthy environmental choices. We hope it encourages other organizations and government agencies to do so also.