SALINAS, Calif. — The city of Salinas, California, celebrated a major milestone in the implementation of its ongoing energy program with OpTerra Energy Services during a dedication event at its new solar farm. Since its inception in 2014, the heart of the comprehensive energy program has been focused on using energy as a platform to revitalize neighborhoods, build regional collaboration, and reduce the city’s impact on the environment. As a result of solar, energy efficiency, and other energy conservation upgrades across the city, Salinas expects to save $22 million in energy and maintenance costs over the span of the 25-year life of the program.

At the event, city administration and OpTerra personnel highlighted some of the most visible changes resulting from the energy program, including the 2 MW of solar production. As a result of enhanced energy improvements across public facilities as diverse as the Permit Center to the Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility, Steinbeck Public Library, and Municipal Airport, Salinas’ energy program has stimulated the local economy by directly creating 50 local jobs in construction and administration associated with the project.

Through a tiered implementation timeline that delivered energy efficiency upgrades in tandem with solar generation, OpTerra has helped city leaders demonstrate progress to residents by completing multiple construction projects over a short period of time. In addition to solar, streetlights have been retrofitted to more energy efficient LEDs, over 14,000 interior and exterior lights at 23 different city sites were retrofitted to LEDs, and new HVAC equipment and energy management systems have been installed across city buildings as well. The new equipment supports a significant move toward ongoing improvement of Salinas’ environmental impact. As a result of the comprehensive upgrades, the city’s carbon emissions will be reduced by 7,266 metric tons by 2040.

OpTerra CEO John Mahoney congratulated city leaders for all their success to date, saying, “The OpTerra team applauds the city of Salinas for demonstrating how a public agency like a city can leverage the potential of a public-private partnership with a company like OpTerra to lead the way on sustainability, fiscal responsibility, asset management, and energy performance. Their early successes are already proving the long-term impact of using energy as a foundation for progress.”

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Publication date: 6/20/2016

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