Energy Block Grant Update

In fall 2009 the City of Fayetteville received $724,900 in grant funds through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. We identified five project categories for how the funds would be spent.

At the this year's December 6th City Council meeting the last project item will go forward and will complete the City's grant requirements. Below is an updated list of how the funds have been spent or obligated to projects:

  • Energy Retrofit of City Buildings ($240,363.71) - Retrofitted the Police Department, Water & Sewer Operations, Fire Stations #1, #4, and #6 with an assortment of heating and air conditioning, lighting, and duct sealing upgrades. We are also set to plant some trees at a couple of fire stations that have strong southern exposure to the summer sun.
  • Community Revolving Loan Fund ($265,000.99) - The City hired Treadwell Institute to serve as the project manager for retrofitting three non-profits in Fayetteville. The funds were available to any non-profit in the community that applied and also met one of two criteria: 1) Had positive cash flow last year 2) Had positive savings in their bank account. In the end, Mt Sequoyah Retreat Center, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, and the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce were awarded funds. Projects include heating and air conditioning, window, insulation, and lighting upgrades as well as LED lighting for the Botanical Garden.
  • LED Trail & Sidewalk Lighting ($156,301) - Purchased 160 LED lights along Scull Creek Trail, Frisco Trail, Block Avenue Street Renovation, Scull Creek Tunnel, U of A Farm Trail, and around the Fayetteville Public Library. The expected payback on these lights is approximately seven years. On average the LEDs are about 60% more efficient and last five times longer than conventional lighting.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory ($9,000) - Paid a student from the University of Arkansas graduate program and an Energy Corps member to develop an inventory of all municipal operations. This inventory will help the City determine where key investments in energy efficiency can be made going forward
  • Solar on the District Court Building ($39,205.43) - Hired Rocky Grove Sun Company to install a 6.8 Kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the LEED Gold District Court Building. To date the City has received over $14,000 in rebate funds from the Arkansas Energy Office for this project.
Remaining funds will be used for LED lights along the U of A Farm trail if approved by City Council. The City is also expecting rebate funds from AEP/SWEPCO for the building retrofits and solar PV system on the District Court. These funds will also be spent on energy efficiency related projects going forward.

As you can see the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program has allowed the City to do some conventional energy efficiency projects on existing facilities as well as expand our scope to look at emerging technologies such as LED lighting and solar PV. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about the projects (jcoleman@ci.fayetteville.ar.us).

John Coleman
Sustainability & Strategic Planning
City of Fayetteville, Arkansas

 

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Covering the game changing discussions that are taking place in the realm of sustainability. From the impact of the City of Fayetteville's decision to switch its fleet to biodiesel to Paul Stamet's research in the Pacific Northwest on how mycelia...

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