Solar Panels Installed at the Coliseum

On Tuesday, St. Pete will unveil new solar panels installed at the Coliseum.

Tuesday morning, City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County officials, along with representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy and local contractors will gather to unveil the completion of a major solar energy installation at the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N.,

According to the city, the installation is an example of the commitment St. Pete has made to solar energy.

The Coliseum is one of 21 city facilities outfitted with energy saving solar water heater systems since the $2.38 million project began in January 2010.

According to the city, the solar water heater project, like the one at the Coliseum, represent to the city an overall annual savings of roughly $22,117 or 505kW every time hot water is used at any of these facilities.

New solar panels for water heater systems at the Coliseum and City Hall are just one component of a two-year Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) from the U.S. Department of Energy used to implement energy savings measures at several city facilities.

Tuesday's unveiling, which begins at 10 a.m., is open to the public

Dick May 29, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Well... okay... what else did we get for the balance of $2,210,000? And is there some savings associated with that investment?
Catherine May 29, 2012 at 06:04 PM
We citizens have to start somewhere, regarding the use of alternate energy and I'm glad to read that the Coliseum has been fitted with solar panels. Hopefully the 'savings' figures listed here are not correct and that the actual savings in dollars will be a much more grand figure overall.
Dick May 30, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Catherine, I hope you're correct. But what if you're not. What if our elected officials invested in a project with a 107 year payback? Remember Solyndra...$500 million down the tube? Who ownes "The Pier", "Sunken Gardens", "The Trop", "Al Lang Field", "The Coliseum", "Baywalk Parking Lot", etc.? All of these are major receivers of Taxpayer dollars.
S. Ripley May 30, 2012 at 03:02 PM
No question that many alternative energy sources have poor payback (even when you factor in grants, subsidies, and tax credits). Having said that, if our city wants to spend federal grant money that provides us with some local savings- I say go for it. The city can find out firsthand how these systems perform in the long term. Hopefully that experience will factor in any future purchase decisions made with local money.
Dick May 30, 2012 at 06:46 PM
s. Ripley Sounds like "free money from the Feds." Remember there is no free lunch. There are less expensive ways to evaluate these systems. I suggest that everytime you see or hear Federal Grant, Federal Subsidy, Federal Tax Credit (for a city government?), substitute the word "Taxpayer" for Federal and see if your attitude changes.


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