Solar energy generation in city parking lots begins – Today’s News

January 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Despite a cold brisk wind blowing through Lake Havasu City on Thursday, it was a typical cloudless day for city and LG International officials to celebrate the start of solar energy generation on city parking lots.

LG International (America), Inc., the financial backer behind Lake Havasu City Solar, LLC, project subcontractors and city officials officially cut the ribbon on the solar project in a festive ceremony Thursday in the City Hall parking lot. They held the event under the shade provided by the large solar panel structures.

“We could use a little bit more of that sun to get rid of the cold,” said Mayor Mark Nexsen during his speech.

But the city already has benefitted from the sun and solar energy project established by Lake Havasu City Solar.

In mid-December, the solar panels in the City Hall parking lot and the city’s Public Works parking lot began generating energy, said Jae Choe, manager for the new business development team at LG International (America). At the end of December, the work at the city’s Police Facility and Aquatic Center was completed and those panels began generating power.

The project, including the solar energy panels and metal beams on the city property, is not owned by the city. It’s owned by Lake Havasu City Solar, LLC, which was set up by and financially backed by LG International.

The city will be buying energy from Lake Havasu City Solar, LLC at a fixed cost which is under the cost of what the city pays UniSource and the rate will increase no more than two percent each year for 20 years, city officials have said.

City officials anticipate UniSource rates increasing more than two percent each year and since they locked in the rate with Lake Havasu City Solar, they expect to experience significant savings.

Nexsen rattled off the benefits of the city’s involvement in the solar energy deal.

“The utility cost savings are an improvement, there are no upfront costs to the taxpayer and local jobs were created,” Nexsen said.

“Lake Havasu City is once again showing leadership,” Nexsen said. He said it was key for city officials to have the foresight to take advantage of the “resources granted to us.”

The solar project was the first of its kind that LG International (America) has been involved in, Choe said.

At a maximum, the solar panels at all four sites could generate up to 1.5 million kilowatt hours a year for the city, Choe said. But that of course depends upon the weather, he said.

LG International has broader interests beyond consumer electronics, Choe said. The company also supports mining operations, palmtree plantations in Indonesia and coal operations, he added.

Thursday, LG International officials showed off a new 60-inch flat screen TV — still in its box — that will be on display in City Hall and will show the output of the four different solar locations. The screen also will display facts about the environment related to the solar energy output, Choe said.

After the ribbon was cut, city officials, LG International and the project subcontractors cut cake and released helium filled balloons into the sunny sky.

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