Kzoo Co. government building shifts to solar power

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo County’s Healy Street building will soon be using solar power through a new clean energy project.

Officials say the county government’s first solar array, which will be running in a couple of weeks, is expected to reduce its reliance on the grid by 70%. This figure was calculated using the life cycle of the panels, with some days being more sunny than others.

The array contains about 400 individual panels made of toxin-free and environmentally safe silica. The panels are designed to last more than 25 years and will need very little maintenance.

Around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, crowds gathered for the official dedication ceremony.

“There’s the environmental sustainability piece, which is fantastic, but there’s also a big cost savings. So right off the top, the first year, we should have $4,000 in savings that will multiply as the years go on,” Kalamazoo County Board Chair Julie Rogers said. “Really it has been a lot more doable to use solar panels because the price has come down so significantly in the last five years.”

Kalamazoo County started looking into the solar project in 2018. After reviewing electrical use and costs at county facilities, the building was chosen as the best place for the solar power.

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