Solar Panels at Trousdel Atheletic Center Not Living Up To Expectations

Questions to Ponder While Reading

  • Should The City of Tallahassee Assign a Cost With “Going Green” Initiatives?
  • Do You Think “Going Green” Initiatives Should Be Promoted By Government and Implemented By Individuals or Implemented by Government?
  • Should the Cost of “Going Green” Initiatives Determine Which Initiatives Should Be Implemented?

In late-2000 the City of Tallahassee installed Solar Panels at the Trousdell Aquatic Center. The City of Tallahassee claims the following on their TalGov website:

The 10 Kilowatt Photovoltaic (PV) solar electric generation system located at the Trousdell Gymnastic and Aquatic Center on John Knox Road, provides up to 14,000 kWh of electric power a year, enough to run the average 1500 sq. ft. home in Tallahassee. The PV System is “grid connected”, providing power for general distribution to the rest of Tallahassee when not being used at the Aquatic Center.

Tallahassee Reports has found through a Public Record request that over a 6 1/2 year period the system generated 60, 283 kwh of power. This is a yearly average of 9,518 kwh. This is 32% less than the 14,000 kWh claim posted on the City’s website.

The system has been down since June 2007 due to a bad inverter. New parts were ordered and the city was billed $48,600 on Spetember 11, 2008.

To date, the tax dollars invested in the purchase and operation of the system totals approximately $203,427. Over the period of operation the cost per 1000 kwh is approximately $3370. If the system were to run for an additional 7 years with no additional costs, the cost per 1000 kwh would drop to approximately $1600. The current cost for the City of Tallahassee Electric Utility to generate 1000 kwh is $150.

7 Responses to "Solar Panels at Trousdel Atheletic Center Not Living Up To Expectations"

  1. There are many other costs to be considered. The simplistic analysis being done does not take into consideration the carbon offset AKA cost to clean up our environment after burning fossil fuels by the mega-ton daily. It also doesnt consider the fact that while the technology today for solar power can be cost prohibitive, without an investment in projects like these, the cost per KWH for solar will never come down. Now with that said, I do agree that there appears to be some false advertising by the city, and it would be nice to know how this project was vetted and by whom.

  2. Liberals are only generous with taxpayer’s dollars, not their own. This ‘going green’ is nothing more than a way for the government to take more of the taxpayer’s money. Did you see where the libs in DC want to institute a $175 per cow “tax” on cows due to the gas they pass causes “global warming”.
    Can you imagine what that will do to the price of meat?

  3. To really know whether this is a truly green project, the energy used in producing and installing the panels would have to be factored into the mix. We, the tax payers, are paying about 100 times the more than we could recover in a 15 year period.

  4. This is so assinine, it astonishes me that there has been no other mention of this in the media. “Green” sounds good, but when the dollars involved are revealed, the absurdity of these types of initiatives should embarrass everyone involved. Where is the list of names of those who signed off on this boondoggle?

  5. Steve,
    It would be interesting to know how many of our elected “leaders” have spent their own money to “Go Green”.
    It’s easier when you just dip into the public funds.

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