Welcome to the Capitol Preservation Board Energy Savings and Sustainability on Capitol Hill. This blog will focus upon the elements required to help the Utah State Capitol become more energy efficient and sustainable for the upcoming 100 years.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Photovoltaic Panels at the Capitol

The executive director has begun a study which will look at the possibility of using Photovoltaic (PV) Panels to generate energy from the sun to be used to light the Capitol and the Capitol Complex at night.

During the day energy will be developed by the sun through the PV panels. Once the suns energy is turned into electricity it will be placed into the power grid then at night the power will be taken back from the grid to light the Capitol Dome, Capitol Building and the site lighting of the Complex.

It is estimated that the total amount of KWh/yr that would be required to accomplish 100% of the night lighting would be 258,994 KWh/yr or a total watts of 59,131 and would require approximately 990 PV panels. This is the long term goal for the capitol would:
- Cost $2,200,000 engineering and installation
- Save the State $43,000 per year for a payback of 51 years.
- Save 120 Ton of CO2 each year.

While it may appear that a 51 year payback is a very long time in a commercial world, for the State Capitol Complex it make excellent sense since the Capitol and the Complex will always be under the ownership of the State and the Capitol Preservation Board 20 year Master plan is focused on building 100 year plus facilities. Therefore at the end of the Capitol’s next 100 years the State would have saved with PV panels after the initial pay back of the costs (49 years x $43,000/year in FY2009 dollars) over $2.1 million dollars.

Currently this concept is being investigated with a local engineering company. Following the analysis a phased plan of action and funding will be developed and presented to the Capitol Preservation Board.

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