Dillon greens up town hall
August 9, 2010
DILLON – To make town hall a model of green industry for Dillon’s commercial areas, council members recently approved funding for solar panels on its roof.While Dillon has already done other green-improvement projects on town hall – such as window and shade installations to improve heat retention in the building, and occupancy sensor lighting – officials finally agreed to install the “icing on the cake,” solar panels – last week. The project will likely take three to four weeks, and town staff hopes to have it done “before the snow flies,” town planner Bev Kaiser said.”We decided to target town hall because it’s so visible,” Kaiser said. “It could become an exemplary building.”Kaiser said she also wants to install a display near the entrance of the building to highlight all the green technology used inside. A section about upgrades could also be featured on the town website.
Town manager Devin Granbery said the town estimates solar panels will eventually save it $163,972 in electric costs. The total project cost – $132,468 – will be reduced to $82,788 after a rebate, and Granbery said it will pay for itself in 11 years.Turner Morris recently won the bid to install the panels, and the Town has agreed to take advantage of two rebate plans with Xcel Energy to make the project worthwhile. The Town will participate in the Solar Rewards SO-REC Purchase program, where Dillon will sell electricity production back to Xcel for a guaranteed amount over the next 20 years. Granbery said that by using this program, the town will be generating an estimated $40,255 in revenue. Dillon will also use Xcel’s Solar Rewards Rebate Program.Town finance director Carri McDonnell said the town set aside $100,000 to do upgrades on town hall, and only $30,000 has been spent so far.According to Kaiser, the town has also been working on other green projects, including 16 new “Dark Sky compliant” lights on Lake Dillon Drive, energy assessments on town-owned buildings, and a greenhouse-gas study with University of Colorado graduate student Alison Culpen. The Town has adopted Summit County’s green building code as well.Culpen, who is working with Dillon staff as the sustainability outreach project coordinator to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, said the town has numerous options to reduce its pollution levels. She said town options included requiring old buildings to retrofit for energy efficiency, or to create higher density in the town along with a better transit system. Another idea was a pay-as-you-throw trash removal system, so people would recycle and compost more of their refuse. Though Culpen’s ideas were only suggestions, the Town will be working on its greenhouse-gas emissions research further. Kaiser said she will learn how to monitor further background data on emissions in Dillon from Culpen.SDN reporter Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at email@example.com.