Solar panels in place at 2 Lexington fire stations

From TOM LATEK, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) – Solar panels were installed at two Lexington fire stations as part of a long-term renewable energy initiative.

According to the Lexington Fire Department, Station 7 on Tates Creek Road and Station 15 in Shillito Park are good places to use solar panels because they both face south and have the appropriate roof pitch.

In general, fire stations are considered “energy intensive” because they are manned by fire fighters and they are constantly using communication systems. In addition, fire-fighting equipment exhaust systems and other devices require the use of an above-average amount of electricity.

“Finding new levels of efficiency is always a priority for our city. We are constantly looking for ways to do more through efficiency and innovative approaches, ”said Linda Gorton, Lexington Mayor. “In the long term, solar energy can be a great way to save money while protecting the environment. It’s nice to see that our fire brigade shows the way. “

Fire Department Chief Jason Wells said, “The fire department is there to meet the needs of the community. Part of this responsibility is to be careful with the resources offered. We look forward to being on site for such an exciting initiative. “

The solar systems, which went into operation in March, are expected to provide 30-40% of the energy needed to operate the two fire stations.

The solar panels were funded by the city’s Energy Improvement Fund, which invested approximately $ 30,000 at each station. James Bush, in the Environmental Quality and Public Works Department, heads the city’s energy initiatives department and led the project. “We have focused on energy efficiency for years,” said Bush. “Now we have come to a point where using solar panels to generate energy is a cost-effective option.”

There’s no word on when other Lexington fire stations could follow suit in adding solar panels.

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