The city of Golden, Colo., will move significantly closer to its renewable-energy goals with a new solar photovoltaic (PV) project managed and delivered by HVAC specialty contractor McKinstry.

The project was approved at the Aug. 22 city council meeting. Coupled with earlier work by McKinstry, around 10% of the city’s energy use will come from renewable energy.

“Golden is a leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Colorado,” said Phillip Saieg, McKinstry’s project lead.

Solar panels will be placed at nine city facilities including the Tony Grampsas Gymnasium, the city’s maintenance shops, Splash at Fossil Trace, the 1250 Jackson Street Parking Garage and the Public Works and Planning Building.

McKinstry completed a series of energy efficiency measures at city facilities in 2009, including solar pool heating, a community center pool lighting retrofit and heating and building comfort optimization and improvements.

In 2007, Golden’s City Council passed Resolution 1792, which included a goal of producing 50% of the city’s total energy consumption by renewable energy by 2017. The solar PV project with McKinstry brings the city to 20%.

“The project demonstrates a good public-private partnership that actually takes advantage of what we do best and what the private sector does best as well,” said Councilor Bill Fisher.

The solar PV project will produce 677 kilowatts of electricity and generate $155,000 in annual cost savings for the city. The installations designed by McKinstry will pay for themselves within the lifetime of the system and, after the payback period, the city will net more than $1 million in savings. 
Energy production is guaranteed through an energy-performance contract with McKinstry.

Once construction is complete in December, McKinstry will provide performance measurement and verification services to guarantee the city’s cost savings.