Saving energy and protecting the environment is not always easy to do, but Kansas City’s Water Services Department is doing both by taking advantage of a new solar leasing program. Through a unique public-private partnership, the Department has installed three 25-kilowatt solar energy systems – demonstrating its commitment to reduce carbon emissions and pollution while also creating energy efficiencies. To keep on top of this new leasing experiment, the Department may have implemented resources such as lease accounting software, for example, to keep on top of how that affects financial incomings and outgoings so that there are able to plan for any future leasing needs and build on this as a starting point.
“This new and exciting project demonstrates the Department’s ongoing commitment to pursuing operational efficiencies while also protecting the environment,” said Water Services Director Terry Leeds. “Water Services and City Government continue to make sustainability an important aspect in all our projects.”
The solar systems, which were designed and installed by Brightergy, a Kansas City-based solar solutions company, will contribute to meeting the goals of the City’s Climate Protection Plan, targeting a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from City Government operations with a goal of being 30 percent below year 2000 levels by the year 2020.
Each 25-kilowatt system consists of 111 solar panels which are weighted to the rooftops in order to avoid roof penetrations while still withstanding very high winds. Under optimum sun exposure, the systems produce enough combined energy to power more than 15 houses per day. The energy produced by the combined solar systems will prevent the release of over 1,300 tons of carbon from the atmosphere over the lifetime of the 25-year lease – the environmental equivalent of planting nearly 34,000 trees.*
“Until the development of this leasing program called BrighterLease, it has been difficult for government entities to justify solar energy without grant funding,” said Susan Brown, Principal with Brightergy Solar. “BrighterLease will allow Water Services to take advantage of all the incentives available to taxable clients – saving money on their utility expenses from day one.”
The three systems are located at: the Water Services Administration Building, 4800 E. 63rd St.; the Water Services Industrial Waste Building, 1001 Harrison St.; and the Water Services Pipeline Maintenance Building, 2409 E. 18th St.
The Kansas City, Mo., Water Services Department maintains and operates water collection, processing and distribution systems, stormwater management and control systems, and wastewater collection and processing systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City region. Operation is funded entirely by fees charged to customers based on their use of products and services, not by taxes. Please visit www.kcmo.org/water for more information.
Brightergy, one of the nation’s fastest-growing full-service solar development and finance firms, offers turn-key design, installation, monitoring and in-house financing services. Brightergy’s extensive experience includes hundreds of projects for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies and utilities to non-profits and mid-sized businesses. Please visit www.brightergy.com for more information.