Marietta City Council expanding solar energy

Apr 10, 2019

Janelle Patterson

Special to The News and Sentinel

MARIETTA – Marietta City Council is moving forward on a new power purchase agreement with Pickering Energy Solutions to add solar power to another city building this summer.

Chip Pickering, founder of the energy company, explained to council’s Lands, Buildings and Parks Committee Tuesday that the proposed agreement to utilize the roof of the streets department garage would offset the power usage at the city site by 85 percent.

The contract proposed follows the parameters set forth in the current power purchase agreement between the city and Pickering for use of the Marietta Municipal Court roof.

“That’s been in place for about a year,” said City Engineer Joe Tucker. “And originally the estimate was that the savings to the city in energy costs would be about $800 in the first year.”

Dave Hendrickson, also with the city’s engineering department, explained that the savings to date for the city on the municipal court building is $743.41.

The proposed new power purchase agreement follows the lines of that court agreement, selling power to the city for that building at a 10 percent lower rate than the going rate of AEP.

“For the streets maintenance garage, we put a new roof on there in February of 2016 for $174,955,” explained Tucker. “Pickering Energy Solutions is prepared to place 132 solar PV panels at 350 watts on that new roof to save the city $550 annually and it will surprisingly support 80 percent of our energy needs at that facility.”

Pickering’s Kerri Dunn, project manager, explained that the use of clips to adhere the new panels to the roof would not invalidate the city’s warranty on the roof.

All council members voiced support for the proposed 20-year agreement with an option to renew for another five years after 2039.

The $10,010 purchase from Recreonics will add a six-piece floating attraction to the city’s pool this summer, according to Safety-Service Director Jonathan Hupp.