Hazard installs solar arrays, plans future upgrades funded by energy savings

By Rachel Nix, Building Kentucky

Cash flow can be difficult for local governments to navigate, but the City of Hazard has a new solution for aging infrastructure facilities.

Hazard recently partnered with Trane to install solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays at Hazard City Hall and the Hal Rogers Center to save energy and money.

Each solar array generates electricity from sunlight to supply a portion of the electricity needed for the building. The city will be credited for all excess energy it generates – and plans to use those funds to pay for future infrastructure needs.

The City of Hazard will be able to take advantage of the extra energy produced and lower its costs for powering city buildings.

At City Hall, 44 panels were installed and have been guaranteed to produce over 16,000 kWh annually – roughly equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power an electric vehicle for 48,000 miles of driving distance. An additional 80 panels were installed at the Hal Rogers Center that will produce 33,000 kWh per year.

The timing for the project is also smart. By completing the solar project before the end of 2020, the City of Hazard will be locked into the current tariff which offers the one-to-one value for any excess energy produced.

The installation of solar arrays is a portion of a much larger project in the City of Hazard. Future work focuses on driving efficiency and addressing aging water meter and water treatment infrastructure. Several facilities will also get updated LED lighting and HVAC upgrades.

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