Reston and Great Falls Fire Stations Among Possible Sites for Solar Panels

As Fairfax County moves to expand its use of renewable energy, the Board of Supervisors is looking for feedback on the next round of county facilities being considered for solar panel installations.

The board will hold a public hearing on Tuesday (March 9) to determine whether the county should lease roof space at 22 county-owned properties to the energy company Sigora Solar, which would be responsible for installing, operating, and maintaining solar photovoltaic panels at the sites.

Sites under consideration in the Tysons and Reston area include:

  • McLean Government Center and Police Station (1437 Balls Hill Road)
  • Wolf Trap Fire Station #42 (1315 Beulah Road)
  • McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue)
  • Thomas Jefferson Library (7415 Arlington Boulevard)
  • Merrifield Center and Kerrifield Center Garage (8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive)
  • Reston Fire Station (1820 Wiehle Avenune)
  • Great Falls Volunteer Fire Station (9916 Georgetown Pike)

This is the second set of properties that county officials have proposed as possible locations for solar panels. The county previously approved leases for roof space at eight sites, including the Providence Community Center, in October.

In an effort to pivot to renewable energy as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Fairfax County announced in December 2019 that it had awarded contracts to multiple solar power companies in what was the “largest solar power purchase agreement initiative by a local municipality in Virginia” at that time, according to the Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination.

In addition to Sigora Solar, the county has contracted with the providers BrightSuite — a subsidiary of Dominion Energy — and Ipsun Solar for the initiative, which could also include Fairfax County Public Schools facilities.

In the board package for Tuesday’s meeting, county staff say there is no expected net cost from the solar panels. Sigora Solar has offered a fixed rate of $0.069 per kilowatt per hour (kWh) on a 25-year contract term. The county will save $0.016 per kWh compared to current electric costs which will help pay off the costs of installation and upkeep to Sigora Solar.

The public hearing is expected to start around 4 p.m. Like the rest of the Board of Supervisors meeting, it will be available to watch via the county’s cable TV channel and online live stream, and live audio can be accessed by calling 703-324-5300.

Image via Flickr/Minoru Karamatsu

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