On September 12, the city of Concord, California, which is located in Contra Costa County not far from San Francisco, announced that it had finished upgrading its power infrastructure with the latest in renewable energy technology. These actions are estimated to save the city nearly $18 million and could earn the community hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax credits.
To complete the overhaul, the town worked with Chevron Energy Solutions, a solar power provider that specializes in educational and municipal installations. A total of 14 projects were undertaken, including one that set up a photovoltaic array to help generate power for the town's public pool facility. Another initiative replaced park and street lighting fixtures with ones that gather solar energy during the day to reduce stress on the energy grid at night. Most of the local government buildings were also renovated, swapping out old HVAC systems with ones that are more energy efficient.
"This was a bold program in that the City took a comprehensive approach to tackling our growing energy costs," Mayor Ron Leone of Concord said at a gathering of state and local leaders, according to a press release. "With the completion of this program, we have demonstrated once again our commitment to local taxpayers to maximize every dollar with which we have been entrusted."
According to the release, the town intends to begin work on redeveloping an old Naval arsenal that accounts for roughly 5,000 acres of public land. While no designs have been finalized, officials predict that the site will, once completed, feature energy-efficient housing complexes and open recreation spaces.
These efforts demonstrate that communities are beginning to take an active role in utilizing green technology to help balance their budgets and increase their standard of living.