Collier Receives 2015 PA Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence

Collier and Scalo Solar Solutions "Flip the Switch" ceremony to begin the usage of the solar panels on the Public Works building.

Collier and Scalo Solar Solutions “Flip the Switch” ceremony to begin the usage of the solar panels on the Public Works building.

The Collier Township Board of Commissioners proudly announce that the township has been awarded the 2015 Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence in the category of “Innovative Community/Governmental Initiatives,” for the rooftop photovoltaic electrical generating system that was constructed and in service on top of the Collier Public Works Department garage roof.

This uniquely sustainable project was routed around the need to replace the roof on the Public Works Building, located adjacent to the municipal building. In an effort to become more green and sustainable, the Township Commissioners evaluated the installation of a rooftop photovoltaic electricity-generating system at the same time the roof membrane was replaced. After evaluation, the township authorized its engineer Lennon, Smith, Souleret Engineering, Inc., to prepare contract bid documents and specifications the work. In addition, Collier’s solicitor, Charles Means, was authorized to prepare a power purchase and operating agreement creating a limited liability company that could participate in an energy buy-back system. The new LLC created for the Township of Collier is the Collier Solar Roof, LLC. The project was bid and awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, Scalo Solar Solutions, a solar developer located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jack Scalo of Scalo Solar Solutions designed and installed the system. The solar system’s life was set equal to the roof’s anticipated life of 30 30 years to prevent the need for removal of the system if the roof needed to be replaced.

solarpwThis renewable energy project consists of 132 glass tube solar modules installed on the Public Works Garage roof. This 22kW photovoltaic system is estimated to generate a net savings of approximately $75,000 by selling back to the utility company (Duquesne Light Co.) via a “grid-tied” system. A “grid-tied” system allows excess solar energy to be sold and eliminates the need for storage batteries. The environmental benefit is the reduction of over an estimated one million pounds of carbon dioxide gas emissions while reducing utility costs and decreasing the township’s carbon footprint.

“Collier Township is committed to being a leader in sustainability in our community and it is the township’s goal that its efforts to go green inspire our residents and businesses to follow in our footsteps and strive to reduce their own carbon footprint,” stated Board President George Macino. “This award is testimony to Collier township’s forward thinking, by not only creating a private-public partnership that will save taxpayer funds, but it also aids in creating a healthier community,” added Township Manager Salvatore Sirabella.

Collier Township will be recognized in the State Capitol by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), DCED Secretary Dennis Davin, and Governor Tom Wolf on April 15, 2015. The Governor’s Awards for Local Government Excellence are a celebration of successful local government initiatives in many areas. In total, eight local government leaders and eight communities across the state receive awards that are presented at the annual Local Government Day Ceremony.