Fairfax County Paves Way for Solar at Reston Community Center

Fairfax County inched closer to transitioning to renewable energy yesterday (Tuesday) when the Board of Supervisors authorized county staff to lease Reston Community Center and seven other county government-owned facilities so they can be outfitted with solar panels.

Providence Community Center will have rooftop solar photovoltaic panels installed on its main building at 3001 Vaden Drive, which operates as a government center for Providence District as well as a community meeting facility.

The other facilities that the county board approved to be leased to Sigora Solar following a brief public hearing are:

  • The Herrity Building (12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax)
  • The Pennino Building (12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax)
  • The North County Government Center (1801 Cameron Glen Dr., Reston)
  • Springfield Warehouse (6800 Industrial Road, Springfield)
  • Noman M. Cole Pollution Control Plant lab building (9399 Richmond Highway, Lorton)
  • I-66 Transfer Station, workers’ facility building, and truck wash building (4500 West Ox Road, Fairfax)

The eight facilities are among the first locations approved for solar photovoltaic panels as part of Fairfax County’s extensive contract with Sigora Solar, which was announced on Dec. 10 as the largest solar power purchase agreement initiative by a Virginia municipality at that point.

As the PPA service provider, Sigora Solar is responsible for designing, permitting, installing, and operating rooftop solar panels at all facilities participating in the program, which also includes facilities owned by Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County Park Authority, and Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Under the PPA, Fairfax County will not bear any costs for the design, permitting, or construction of the solar panels, Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination director Kambiz Agazi says.

Instead, the county will purchase on-site electricity from Sigora.

The solar PPA is expected to help Fairfax County reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and its electricity costs, though county staff could not yet provide specific numbers for how much the installation of solar will reduce emissions or how much money the county is expected to save.

“We will have an approximation as soon as we have a permitted design,” Agazi said. “We hope to have that in the next three to four months.”

The eight facilities that were the subject of yesterday’s public hearing are among 113 possible projects in the first phase of Fairfax County’s PPA with Sigora, which could ultimately include a total of 247 facilities based on a request for proposals that the county issued in 2019.

County staff say they will return to the Board of Supervisors in the future to get approval to lease the 18 other county government-owned facilities included in the first phase of the PPA.

Image via Flickr/Minoru Karamatsu

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