CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Honeywell and Cathedral City have announced a $2.7 million energy savings performance contract for building and energy efficiency improvements that is expected to help reduce the city's annual operating costs by 33 percent.

The project includes the installation of a solar canopy on the roof of the civic center parking garage. A $1 million renewable energy rebate from the state of California will provide partial funding for the project.

Built using more than 1,600 photovoltaic solar panels, the parking garage canopy will generate power while shielding vehicles from the sun. The canopy supports the city's drive toward using renewable energy and is projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 514 tons each year - the equivalent of removing 103 automobiles from the road.

The use of solar energy made the city eligible for the $1 million state rebate. Administered through the local utility, the rebate will reduce the net cost of the project. And the energy savings that result from the citywide upgrades and improvements will pay for the $1.7 million balance over the next nine-and-a-half years. There is no financial risk to the city because Honeywell guarantees the results.

"Solar energy gives the city a reliable way to generate savings and affords us protection against energy rate increases," said Donald Bradley, the city manager of Cathedral City. "Honeywell provided a direction that was in line with our specific needs. The project leverages our natural Southern California resources, and saves taxpayers money on our already tight budgets."

During the nine-month construction phase of the project, Honeywell will install the solar canopy, as well as energy-efficient lighting and controls throughout the city buildings. This includes upgrades to the civic center, fire stations, and public works buildings. Honeywell also will upgrade traffic signals from incandescent lights to light emitting diodes (LEDs), which use less energy and have a longer life span.

Publication date: 11/01/2004