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Bend plans $3.8 million in energy-efficiency upgrades


The city of Bend is set to embark on a $3.8 million energy-efficiency project at numerous city facilities, including fire stations and street lights across the city — a move to meet energy use goals and is also expected to save money over time, to reinvest in more such efforts.

Councilors will be asked Wednesday night to approve the second-phase contract with Ameresco, building on a 2016 inventory conducted by OSU-Cascades of greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from electricity and natural gas use..

Climate action goals adopted that year including reducing carbon dixoide emissions from city facilities and operations tto achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, while rducing fossil fuel use by 40 percet by 2030 and 70 percent by 2050.

Last April, city councilors uathorized phase 1 of an energy savings performance contract with Ameresco, including a technical energy audit and project development plan.

According to an issue summary from Senior Policy Analyst Gillian Ockner, the plan allosws the city to “be a leader in the community for energy efficiency,” but to do so “in a way that is very low cost or cost neutral and is net positive in the long term.”

That means the city expects to save enough money and/or generate enough renewable energy to create a funding stream to reinvest in city projects.

The list includes upgrading street lighting around the city from HID (high-intensity discharge) to LED, and lighting and lighting controls upgrades at the Centennial Parking Plaza and numerous Bend police and fire facilities. Fire stations also will have improvements in the building envelope, domestic water conservation and HVAC controls.

At the city’s water filtration facility, solar panels will be installed on the roof and on the ground along the north fence line, along with an electric resistance “heat to heat pump.”

Ockner said the work is planned over the next year, and the consultant will work with city staff to evaluate the potential of some other measures down the road, including possible biogas recovery at the city’s water reclamation facility and in-line hydropower generation on the water transmission system.

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