MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Solar panels are helping the Macon-Bibb Fire Department save energy and lives at the same time.
The stations on Northside Drive, North Peak and Pine Road in Bibb County all have solar panel systems. Each station has two panels that help power one of the department's most important resources: water. The system is designed to power the stations' water heating system. Chief Marvin Riggins says other than aesthetics; the firefighters really haven't noticed a big difference.
"You can obviously see the panels so that's different for us. But I think that's a good thing for our community," Riggins said.
Riggins admits that for first responders saving energy isn't always the first priority. Thanks to the new solar panels, Riggins says saving money and energy just got easier. In 2009, Bibb County received a grant to make the government buildings more environmentally friendly. This past year, that money was used to upgrade the fire stations. The new systems are expected to save each station $3,2000 a year. Riggins hopes to incorporate more green initiatives into other aspects of the job.
"I think it's more efficient and green, keeping line with our community's green thought process," Riggins said.
The new station on New Forsyth Road will also have solar panels once construction is complete.