Macon-Bibb to install solar panels to power government buildings

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb County is using solar panels to power several government buildings.

Commissioners approved the plans in their committee meeting on Tuesday.

Sam Kitchens, the chairman of the county’s “green” team and also the assistant manager for parks and beautification, says the new solar panels will help change how several buildings are powered.

“We will have the angle tilt on the top of them so it will be a parking canopy with solar panels on the top part of it,” Kitchens said, describing the solar panel canopies.

After state lawmakers passed House Bill 57 last year making it easier to install solar panels, Kitchens and his team worked for more than six months to incorporate the technology.

“The biggest part for us is to give us leveled or even reduced energy cost into our buildings,” Kitchens said. “We’re guaranteed not to lose any money so in effect we will not pay more than what we’re paying in utilities right now.”

The plan is to have about 740 solar panels a long the back two rows of parking spaces behind the government center. It should power part of the Macon-Bibb Government Center and the EMA officers behind it.

There’s no upfront cost to the county because of HB 57.

Cherry Street Energy, LLC. is the group contracted to install the panels.

Kitchens says the project may be the first of its kind in the state, and he’s committed to reducing energy rates for the county.

“For me, it’s very exciting because it’s what I do as an energy manager. It’s part of my job and so I’m very excited that we can get a project off,” he said.

Kitchens says if the utility rates were lowered, the rates would remain the same and the county wouldn’t lose any money.

The project is expected to finish by spring 2017.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News