Lakewood is getting greener

Published on April 16, 2024

Whitlock Recreation Center

Lakewood has secured nearly $1 million from a competitive state grant program to install roof-top and parking-canopy solar panels on its Whitlock Recreation Center, which will offset 100 percent of its electricity use with solar power.

“Making our facilities sustainable has been an important goal for the city, and this grant will allow us to take a significant step,” said Mayor Wendi Strom. “I am so thrilled that it is happening on a facility that serves an essential role in the quality of life for our residents.”

Lakewood was awarded a $931,700 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund (EIAF). The project will generate an estimated 500 kW of solar power. An added benefit will also come from the parking canopy providing shade during hot weather and vehicle protection during snow, rain and hailstorms.

In 2022, the city completed a solar feasibility study, which identified Whitlock as a priority location to install on-site solar. The city’s Sustainability Plan also includes goals to increase renewable energy use at municipal facilities, and this project will increase the city’s existing renewable energy portfolio, which includes 1,289 kW of off-site solar energy. It will also help the city reach the plan’s goal to reduce communitywide greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent below 2007 levels by 2050.

Installation of the solar panels is scheduled for 2025. The success of this project stems from the collaboration of the Planning Department’s Sustainability and Resource Development divisions as well as the Community Resources Department.

 

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