The City Council recently approved having solar panels installed during the City Hall roofing project. The panels will come at no cost to the city, according to City Manager Craig Bessinger.
Muskegon-based Energy Conservation Source, the same company that installed solar panels at Westwind Construction in Grand Haven, will install the panels.
“They will install solar panels on City Hall at their cost,” Bessinger said. “They get the (federal) tax benefits from owning the equipment. After six years, the city has the option to buy it.”
If the City Council opts to purchase the panels after the six years have passed, they will cost about $70,000.
“If the city doesn't want to purchase it, the company would continue to own and operate the equipment,” Bessinger explained. “They own it because they get the tax credits for owning from the federal government. The city wouldn't get any benefits because we don't pay federal tax.”
The current electric bills for Ferrysburg City Hall range from $700 to $1,000 per month, according to Bessinger. He estimates $3,200 in annual savings from using solar power. Any future increase in electric costs would also increase potential savings for operating such equipment as lights, computers, printers and air conditioning.
“It's going to be good for the city to save some electric costs, and it helps protect the environment by using solar energy,” Bessinger said. “There's no cost to the city at this time to do this.”
The roof and solar panel project is scheduled to begin in six weeks and be completed this fall.
East Muskegon Roofing will handle the roof project at a cost of $272,700.