“We were awarded funds from a GEFA program and these funds will be used to install a 20 (kilowatt) solar photovoltaic unit,” said Griffin Director of the Electric Bill Bosch.
The unit will be installed at the site where the city recycles cardboard.
The goal is to create a totally “green” project that uses no additional natural resources. Ideally, the recycling center would be fully powered by the solar panels and no additional electricity would need to be purchased from Georgia Power.
During the last Griffin Board of Commissioners meeting, the possibility that these solar panels could generate more electricity than the facility needs was raised.
“There is a possibility of surplus power being generated,” Bosch said, confirming this.
This power can be sold on the open market but this would need to be negotiated with Georgia Power. The more realistic goal is to meet the facility’s energy needs, since the unit will in all likelihood not produce much more power than the facility needs.
Bosch said the installation and payment timetable has not yet been set. He said the city will pay for the panels and then be reimbursed from GEFA. Although the facility’s yearly electric bill averages $8,400, Bosch said the solar unit cannot not be used all the time. He estimated that the total yearly savings will be $5,000.
“I’m excited that we’re getting it,” Griffin Director of Central Services Phill Francis said.
He said the installation of the solar panels will make the facility the first self-sustaining building in Griffin. Any yearly savings in electricity could be put back in the general fund or put to some other use, depending on what city officials want.