Monday, February 14, 2011

Parks solar project wins state award

The Cincinnati Park Board has won a First Place Green Award of Excellence from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) for its 2010 solar panel initiative.

The Park Board secured $451,000 in federal grants and $300,000 in state grants and private funds for the installation of solar photovoltaic panels at 13 park facilities, making it the owner of the largest number of solar-powered structures in the state.

"The Cincinnati Park Board's strategy for systematically adding new, renewable sources of energy across their footprint is the model for the nation's urban park system," said Andrew Ritch, Duke Energy Corporation's Director of Renewable Energy Strategy and Compliance, in a media release. "The Board's plan has been carefully crafted to optimize the use of all sources of available funding, and includes a performance monitoring system to ensure that specific operating benchmarks for this new technology are realized."

The project is one of nearly three dozen green initiatives being undertaken by the Park Board. Other eco-friendly improvements include solar-powered Big Belly Solartrash cans, a renewable energy system at its Administration Building, rain gardens, and the use of hybrid vehicles and biofuels.

The OPRA Annual Awards of Excellence are based on nominations from across the state and are judged in a two-tiered process by a panel composed of Ohio parks and recreation professionals and the OPRA board.

Another solar project now larger

In addition to the federal economic stimulus grants for the Cincinnati Park Board project announced in 2009, the City received $776,000 for a 279 kilowatt system at the Greater Cincinnati Water Works facility and $253,000 for a 93 kilowatt photovoltaic array atop the --> --> -->Duke Energy Convention Center --> --> -->.

Last Wednesday, Cincinnati City Council amended a 2009 ordinance accepting the grant funding to allow for a larger grant award for the convention center project.

The grant amount has been increased to nearly $403,000 for what will now be a 100.1 kilowatt installation.

Previous reading on BC:
Four new hybrids replace Park Board SUVs (8/12/10)
Cincinnati to accept $1.48M in stimulus for solar projects (1/5/10)
Cincinnati Parks implementing Green Initiatives (4/24/08)


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