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Bibb commission set to consider solar panels at parks, recreation centers

Mayor Lester Miller says he expects it'll save the county 30% on utility bills at those locations.

MACON, Ga. — Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller wants to save the county a chunk of change by going green at four different parks and recreation centers.

Tuesday, the commission will discuss adding solar panels to Theron Ussery Park, Rosa Jackson Recreation Center, Frank Johnson Recreation Center and Delores A. Brooks Recreation Center.

"It'll allow us to take the solar energy and the private energy and lower our rate that we're paying for utilities on those particular facilities," Miller said.

It's part of an ongoing agreement Macon-Bibb has with Cherry Street Energy, which provides solar panels to the county at no cost. 

"We don't pay any money for the installation or equipment," Miller explained. "It's 100% paid for by the company themselves. They make their money through installing the equipment and some savings that they have in your power bill, they turn around and can sell that to another provider."

Cherry Street Energy gets credits for installing the equipment on county property. Mayor Miller called it a win-win. He expects it will cut about 30% of the cost on power bills at those four locations.

"We get something that's green, we get less bills, utility bills, that we can pass those savings on to the taxpayer. At the same time, we run our government more efficiently," Miller said.

Miller says they're already looking at more places to install solar panels. He says they've had success with their solar panel arrays at the tax commissioner's office and sheriff's office.

Tuesday's commission vote is the first of two needed to pass, since the meeting is committee of the whole. Final votes can only happen at regular meetings. The next regular meeting is Tuesday, April 19.

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