Here comes the sun - we’ve added yet another solar array on a county government building.
This latest installation is in Chantilly at the Sully Community Center, which serves as the home of the Sully Senior Center and also provides a broad array of services, programs and activities for individuals of all ages and abilities.
The cost of the project at the 38,000-square-foot building is approximately $537,000, but is expected to generate savings of approximately $1 million over 25 years. In addition to reducing operating costs and generating clean energy, the effort will yield additional benefits over time, such as contributing to better air quality by reducing emissions and providing some shading effect for the roof.
“Fairfax County faces significant threats to our environment and our economy due to climate change,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay. “That’s why it’s so important that we embrace clean, renewable energy to lower our carbon footprint and reduce the strain on our electric grid. This is a significant step along a long-term path away from fossil fuels and toward a more sustainable future.”
The initiative supports sound environmental policies and practices – a goal outlined in the Environment and Energy Outcome Area of our Strategic Plan.
Our Operational Energy Strategy has set a goal for carbon neutrality in facilities, fleet vehicles and county operations, including 50 percent of county electricity from renewable sources, by 2040. Reaching that goal will require several efforts to include improving energy efficiency and conservation, adopting alternative technologies, reducing waste and water usage, and empowering behavior change.
The Sully Community Center project is one of five solar installations that are complete or in progress for new or existing county facilities in 2023. Those projects include:
- Reston and Woodlawn Fire Stations
- Pender Building in Fairfax
- Woodlands Stewardship Education Center in Chantilly
More About the Sully Center Solar Array
Our Department of Public Works and Environmental Services managed the design, construction, and procurement of the solar array for this project. Henley Construction working with Got Electric, LLC installed the rooftop solar photovoltaic system (180 kW), which can generate approximately 267 megawatt-hours of clean renewable energy per year – an amount roughly equivalent to the electricity used by30 homes. In terms of greenhouse gas reductions, this is the equivalent of 118 tons of carbon dioxide.
“Implementing on-site solar technology will lower our electricity costs and reduce our carbon footprint which helps create a healthy, sustainable environment in Fairfax County,” said Lloyd Tucker, director of the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, which operates the Sully Community Center. “We want to serve as a model to the community by making an investment that will reinforce the value of solar energy for our residents and visitors.”
We use several ways to procure solar-generated electricity – including direct installations during new construction or major renovation projects, or through the use of solar power purchase agreements.