Euclid’s going Green
In collaborative projects between the City Council and the Administration, Euclid is at various stages of adoption of new technologies that can save money, bring Euclid jobs and save our environment. Three areas in particular are moving forward.
Solar and Wind Power
About two years ago, the City retained Dovetail Solar/Wind to evaluate City owned property for the viability of solar or wind power. They came up with several good solar power sites, including City Hall, C.E. Orr Ice Arena, Shore and Briardale Greens. Wind turbine installation was recommended for the Lakeshore Waster Water plant.
Dovetail had previously worked with our Euclid Public Library on a similar project. At this point, it made perfect sense to combine the efforts of the Library and City into one unique project going forward.
After a competitive bid process, Ohio Cooperative Solar was chosen to install the solar power plants at both City Hall and the Library. This should be completed early to mid summer. Over the 30 year life expectancy of the solar power system, the City electricity cost saving should be several hundred thousand dollars.
Perhaps even more importantly, it signals to the solar power industry that Euclid “gets it” and should have their production facilities here.
Building on this project, the City as a part of the First Suburbs Consortium is working to create a “Solar Improvement District (SID) in all member communities. Such a district will encourage more solar projects on private property. The great obstacle to Solar/Wind installation is the upfront capital costs of the equipment. A SID allows the local government to borrow money for the solar investments and then assess the property owners to recover the borrowing costs. The greater Euclid community has many potential locations such as our many industrial buildings, new industrial parks and numerous mid-high rise apartments.
First Suburb Consortium is currently applying for an Efficient Government grant to implement the creation of the SID among all member communities. You can help make this project happen by going to http://www.efficientgovnow.org/Vote/ and vote for: “J. Let the Sun.”
Lowering Power Consumption
The flip side of power generation is power consumption. New technologies in lighting can help cut Euclid’s electricity costs. Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lighting holds great promise in reducing the cost of electricity paid by the City. LED lighting is more expensive than current technology, but the life span for each bulb is much longer. All of Euclid’s traffic signals are LED. Communities such as Ann Arbor, Mich., and Raleigh, N.C., are moving toward LED lighting in a major way (see www.ledcity.org for more information).
Service Director Randy Smith is working with members of City Council and General Electric to explore the best use of LED technologies for both indoor and outdoor City applications. With the City now charging for street lighting, and utilities costs going up every year, it makes sense to continue exploring ways to make our facilities more energy efficient.
Storm water is of great interest to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. The North East Ohio Sewer district is imposing a fee pay for managing storm water issues. Euclid’s cost to improve storm water quality could be tens of millions of dollars; paid by the customers. As part of the solution, many communities across the country are turning to pervious paving materials. Such materials allow water to pass through them while having the strength of traditional concrete or asphalt. Water seeping into the ground means less water in our storm water system. After members of Council met with pervious materials representatives, the City, the Euclid Schools and the Euclid Creek Water District are looking for areas to conduct a demonstration project testing the pervious material.These three green initiatives offer both hope and challenges. By exploring each, Euclid is making a statement that we will not just stand by waiting, but will lead….. green!