TUCKER, Ga. (February 24, 2020) – Tucker Recreation Center is going green; and it’s a move that promises to save the taxpayers some green.
The City’s Mayor and City Council voted Monday night to authorize an agreement for the installation of 133 solar panels on the roof of Tucker Recreation Center. Over time, the panels are expected to generate 86 percent of the energy needed to power the building.
“We are glad to bring this kind of innovation to the City of Tucker,” said Tucker Mayor Frank Auman. “When we saw the cost savings of this project, as well as the impact to the environment, it just made sense.”
Speaking of cost savings, the project is expected to pay for itself in just over a decade’s time. The price tag for the City is $165,021, but that does not include a $50,000 grant Tucker secured from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA). The project is being done in conjunction with German-based solar power battery manufacturer sonnen, a subsidiary of Shell, which has its North American headquarters and manufacturing facility in Tucker.
“Parks and Recreation is a balance of trying to provide the best possible programming, while also watching our costs,” said Tucker Parks and Recreation Director Rip Robertson. “With these innovations, we will take our $3,100 per month utility bill and slash it to $2,433 per month. That is an additional $667 a month we can spend on recreation improvements for our citizens.”
The project is the first solar energy endeavor the City has taken on since incorporating in 2016. It is projected to save taxpayers an estimated $323,314 over the next 30 years. It will also have the benefit of giving Tucker an emergency operations center should there be widespread power outages, as well as potentially being a warming center on cold nights.
Tucker will serve as a case study for the use of solar and intelligent battery arrays for municipal operations, as companies like sonnen look to expand the use of renewable energy platforms into larger city/county operations like wastewater treatment, public safety, and operations.