on December 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Loan for solar pool-heating system at rec center approved in Clemson

Clemson City Council has unanimously approved the conditions of a ConserFund loan agreement from the South Carolina Energy Office to borrow $130,000 to install a solar pool heating system at the Central-Clemson Indoor Rec Center.

Clemson city officials are hoping that going solar will result in cost savings for heating its two rec center pools. Andy Blondeau, city projects manager, said the deadline for the project is slated for May 10 and, at that time, the construction loan would be converted to a fixed-rate, 10-year loan.

“While the loan amount is a maximum of $130,000, the actual loan may be a lesser amount and the cities (of Clemson and Central, which jointly own the rec center) can choose to prepay the loan in partial amount prior to the May 10 date,” Blondeau said.

City Administrator Rick Cotton said proposals claim that using solar power to heat the pools can reduce fuel costs by as much as 30 percent, or $20,000, per year. He added that the Indoor Recreation Center is currently spending $68,000 per year in fuel costs.

Not only do city officials say solar energy will reduce annual fuel costs, they also point out that it will allow the public to be educated about the benefits of renewable energy generation and improve environmental quality in the Clemson area.

Blondeau said the next step involves securing the firm that will conduct the installation project. Clemson University Professor Terry Walker has assisted staff in the preparation of a Request for Proposal document, with the time schedule calling for submittals by Dec. 18, followed by interviews with the top three selected firms.

A recommendation to City Council would take place in early January, and the South Carolina Energy Office must also approve the contractor approved by council before installation of the solar equipment can take place.

greg@dailyjm.com | (864) 882-2375