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Southgate installs solar panels and efficient lighting (with video)

The City of Southgate is taking bold steps to reduce energy costs on their municipal campus, starting by replacing lightbulbs with highly efficient ones and then producing energy with three different solar installation! This is all part of their goal to reduce city-wide energy use 25% by 2015.

The City of Southgate has been taking some bold steps to reach its goal of reducing the City’s energy use by 25% by the year 2015. They found two cost-effective, long-term solutions to their energy needs.

Efficient lighting upgrades

First, the city reduced its total energy use by replacing their light bulbs with more efficient models. They began by replacing the parking lot lights with LEDs, and then replaced their interior lighting with T-8s and other more efficient bulbs. Because of the city’s “municipal campus” design, with all the buildings clustered together on the same property, the city saved money by purchasing many light bulbs at the same time and scheduling one installation for all the city facilities.

Rooftop solar panels

After reducing their electricity use, Southgate began meeting some of their electricity needs with new solar panels. As of 2012, the city has three solar installations:

Solar panels on the Southgate Public Library

Brown-tinted solar panels form the awning of Southgate's Public Library

  • The largest and newest, installed in September 2011, is an 8 kW system that includes 32 panels on the roof of the police station.
  • The Southgate Public Library has a smaller awning of brown-hued solar panels that blend in with the building’s facade and are barely noticeable as you drive onto the municipal campus.
  • The Field House, near the athletic facilities, also has a small awning installation that generates enough electricity to power its overnight security lights.