Saving Money and the Planet with Solar
The Community Food Bank strives to be a leader in the Tucson community in our efforts to be energy efficient. “We are excited to add solar energy to our water harvesting, recycling, hybrid truck technology and energy efficiency programs at the Community Food Bank,” said Bill Carnegie, President/CEO. “We are proud to set the example for other businesses in the region.”
We have funding to install solar-covered parking for 42 of the 235 total parking spaces in our lot. We estimate the solar panels will save us nearly $10,000 annually. With the savings, we will be able to provide $90,000 of food. The funding for the solar project comes through the efforts of Congresswoman Giffords in the form of a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development with Economic Development Initiative Funds. The project also includes funding from TEP’s Up-Front Incentive Program.
The project will be constructed by Technicians for Sustainability, a local company. Construction is scheduled to start this fall and will be completed in four to five weeks. This is phase one of the project; additional solar panels will be added as funding becomes available.
The installation of solar panels at our main site is part of the food bank’s overall effort, not only to reduce operating costs so we can provide more food, but to be counted among the leaders in environmental conservation efforts in our community. Thousands of people visit our main site every year, making it an ideal location to showcase green projects.
In addition to our solar panels, the Community Food Bank has several hybrid trucks, a 14,000 gallon water collection tank that harvests rainwater from the roof of our 140,000-square-foot Tucson warehouse, and an excellent recycling program for the tons of cardboard that enters our facility every year.