Solar panels will soon be popping up on public buildings and properties across Buncombe County.
Buncombe County Commissioners on Tuesday passed a $10.3 mullion project.
“Energy efficiency really is the backbone to reducing greenhouse gasses,” Buncombe County Sustainability Officer Jeremiah LeRoy said.
Asheville High, South Buncombe Library, Asheville–Buncombe Technical Community College and Hall Fletcher Elementary are just some of the 46 institutions on which MB Haynes, a local solar company, will be installing the panels.
“I really appreciate the schools going through this process with us. It’s going to achieve a lot more good for our community,” Commission chairman Brownie Newman said.
While the majority of construction will be paid for by the county through a loan, Asheville properties like the Wall Street Deck and the Burton Street Garage will be funded by the city.
The project is part of the county’s effort to go 100% renewable energy.
The county estimates the project will save taxpayers $27 million in utility bill costs within 30 years.
“We are going come out of this smarter, more experienced, and when we do this again in the future, I think it’s going to be even more attractive because we will have done it before,” Newman said.
Construction is expected to begin in September and wrap up in the spring or summer of 2022.