Ivey awards $22K grant to Agriplex for solar panels

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Agriplex Director Rachel Dawsey (Cullman Tribune file photo)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded grants totaling $367,050 to help local governments, public schools and nonprofit groups cut expenses by making their facilities more energy-efficient. In Cullman County, the North Alabama Agriplex Foundation will receive $22,100 to implement a rooftop photovoltaic system, or solar panels, at the North Alabama Agriplex.

“It’s our first step to be energy self-sufficient,” said Agriplex staff.

Added Agriplex Director Rachel Dawsey, “It will supplement our energy bill. With the substation right here, we thought it’d be a unique teaching opportunity to show renewable resources with solar power and speak about conventional power and the history of electricity.”

“If we receive another grant, we’d hope to get batteries,” shared Agriplex VISTA Markus Doering, “so that we can store the energy that we harvest.”

“Energy-efficient systems can be an excellent financial investment for taxpayers that will reduce operating costs at local facilities for years to come,” Ivey said. “I am pleased to award these grants as an investment in the futures for these cities, counties and nonprofit groups.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program.

“These grants are an investment in these local community facilities that will reduce costs to residents and help retain jobs,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey in making this assistance available for these projects.”

The grant recipients will replace outdated heating, cooling, lighting or other systems with modern and efficient equipment that is less expensive to operate. Additional recipients are:

  • Cherokee County Board of Education —$15,679 to implement energy-efficient LED lighting upgrades for Gaylesville School.
  • Christ United Methodist Church (Mobile County)—$15,000 to install energy-efficient LED lighting upgrades at the church.
  • Cleburne County Commission—$25,000 to install an energy-efficient lighting upgrades at Cleburne County Courthouse, jail facility and Cleburne County Mountain Center.
  • Covington County Commission—$23,700 to install an updated energy-efficient lighting system to the Covington County Arena.
  • Colbert County School District—$25,000 to install energy-efficient elastomeric roof coating at Colbert County High School, Colbert Heights High School and Cherokee High School.
  • Crenshaw County Commission—$11,515 to upgrade the Crenshaw County jail’s hot water system.
  • Decatur Utilities (Morgan County)—$18,000 to install energy-efficient lighting upgrades at the Decatur Utilities administrative office building.
  • Geneva County Commission—$19,306 to install lighting retrofits at the Geneva County Farm Center.
  • Huntsville City Schools—$15,000 to implement energy-efficient lighting upgrades at Hampton Cove Middle School.
  • City of Luverne Water Board (Crenshaw County)—$30,000 to assist in replacing turbine-type aerators at the wastewater lagoon with diffused air-type aerators that are more efficient.
  • City of Luverne Electric Board (Crenshaw County)—$25,000 to install energy-efficient LED lighting upgrades along city streets.
  • Montgomery City-County Public Library—$25,000 to install energy-efficient lighting upgrades at Rufus A. Lewis Regional Library, Ramer Branch Library and Pintlala Branch Library.
  • North Baldwin Utilities (Baldwin County)—$30,000 to install an energy-efficient pump package at the North Baldwin Utilities Holiness Lift Station in Bay Minette.
  • Ocmulgee Baptist Church (Perry County)—$11,100 to install energy-efficient lighting upgrades at the church.
  • Space One Eleven (Jefferson County)—$25,000 to install energy-efficient HVAC upgrades and rooftop solar control system at the Space One Eleven building.
  • Town of Triana (Madison County)—$11,175 to implement energy-efficient lighting upgrades at the Triana Community Center gymnasium.
  • City of Troy (Pike County)—$19,475 to assist in installing a small wind turbine in the gravity-flow channel at the waste water treatment plant which will use wind to power part of the wastewater treatment facility and result in maintenance-free equipment.