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Globe turns on the green energy

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 20th, 2012

Holly Sow/ Arizona Silver Belt
Construction Manager Yasmin Zamdzic, Project Manager Jason Endley, both of SolarCity, City Engineer Matt Rencher, and Vice Mayor Eric Mariscal prepare for the ribbon cutting on Wednesday morning.

Globe ― On a crisp Wednesday morning, City of Globe officials gathered together with distinguished guests to cut the ribbon and flip the switch to Globe’s brand new solar panels located at the City’s Wastewater Treatment Facility. The project is the largest renewable energy project in the City’s history and will help to offset electric costs at the City’s biggest electricity user.

The 495-kilowatt solar photovoltaic installation is expected to save the City an estimated $300,000 a year, or 80 percent of the facility’s electricity needs at the site. City Engineer Matt Rencher said, “We are the first large scale solar facility...we are on the forefront in Gila County.”

Vice Mayor Eric Mariscal called the project “well-suited for Arizona” and praised the former City Council’s vision to put this project in motion. “This is the future,” he said. “Globe will now have a clean, readily available and green energy source.”

Globe Mayor Terry Wheeler, who was unable to attend the ribbon cutting Wednesday morning, said, “The unprecedented magnitude of this solar project positions the City of Globe as a renewable energy leader in Gila County and sets a high bar for future municipal projects in our community. We are proud to protect the environment for future generations while lightening the load on our city budget.”

The Solar Services Agreement between the City of Globe and SolarCity is for 15 years and will allow Globe to access the clean, solar power for less cents per kilowatt than they used to pay for their utility power.

Both Rencher and Mariscal praised everyone involved in making the project a reality. Among them, the Globe City Council, Mr. Kim Wesburg, solar consultant, APS, SolarCity, Jason Endley, SolarCity project manager, Yasmin Zamdzic, SolarCity construction manager, Rural Water Arizona (RWA), Scott McCamman of Omni Engineering,Kennedy Partners, and others.

When the time came to cut the ribbon, Vice Mayor Eric Mariscal invited former mayor, Thea Wilshire, to help him with the cutting because of all her support of the project from its start.

The over 2,200 solar panels are atop two shade structures located at the site that are tall enough to accommodate the plant’s large service trucks. The panels cover almost one acre of land. According to SolarCity, “the solar installation will eliminate more than 28 million pounds of annual carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of taking roughly 2,489 cars off of Arizona’s roads each year.”

This is the first large scale solar project in the area to flip its switch and begin using the sun’s power. Gila County, Globe Unified School District, and Miami Unified School District have all signed agreements as well to begin installing similar solar panel shade structures to go green while saving green.

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