As children squeal while playing a pick-up game of basketball at the Lodi Boys and Girls Club, 150 solar panels are quietly humming away on the roof and supplying the gym with power to help keep the lights running. The state-of-the-art solar system was installed over the last two weeks, and club president and CEO Richard Jones said it was activated Wednesday.
“We are online,” he said. “We will see a savings in energy costs immediately.”
The solar panels can produce roughly 30,000 watts of energy and Jones said he expects the renewable energy to save the club between $700 and $900 on its utility bills each month. The biggest savings will come during the summer, Jones said, when the club runs its air conditioner throughout the sweltering days.
For now, the panels will reduce the club’s carbon footprint as it provides power for its arcade games, light fixtures and computers. The panels provide 40 percent of the club’s energy.
The city is also helping the club get the most for its money. Rob Lechner, manager of customer service and programs at the Lodi Electric Utility, is working to help land the club an estimated $60,000 in federal rebates.
“Solar can be an attractive option to reduce energy costs,” Lechner said. “The rebates are just the icing on the cake.”
Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.