Park District Offsets Electrical Costs With Rooftop Solar Array

Trane’s Renewable Energy Solutions installed at the Vernon Hills Park District’s maintenance facility produces enough energy to offset 70% of the building’s annual electric usage.

Vernon Hills Park District, in collaboration with Trane® by Trane Technologies, has installed a rooftop solar array at its maintenance facility that produces enough energy to offset 70% of the building’s annual electric usage.

The facility runs entirely on electrical power without the use of natural gas and has maintained a 15% reduction in electrical costs for the last four years. The solar installation provides 122kW of energy and is projected to lower the Park District’s costs by another 5%, reaching a total reduction of 20%.

Vernon Hills Park District,
The rooftop solar array at Vernon Hills Park District’s maintenance facility.

“Investing in renewable energy benefits both the Park District’s facilities and the environment,” said James Kim, Superintendent of Parks, Vernon Hills Park District. “By partnering with Trane to shift our maintenance facility to renewable, solar energy, we are on track to exceed our sustainability goals while saving taxpayers money.”

In 2017, the Adjustable Block Program was established by the Future Energy Jobs Act to support new rooftop solar and community solar projects in Illinois. When the program launched in 2019, Vernon Hills Park District, with Trane’s consultative support, secured the largest amount of government funding available to them for the rooftop solar array, which covered 40% of the project costs. The Park District also secured a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) to finance the remaining project costs.

“As early adopters of the Adjustable Block program, the Park District received the highest incentives available to fund the solar array, taking bold actions to address climate changes,” said Aaron Raftery, Comprehensive Solutions Account Manager, Trane. “Through our collaboration, we have designed and implemented an innovative, renewable energy solution with positive impacts for the Vernon Hills community and their carbon footprint.”

Vernon Hills Park District is located 30 miles north of Chicago and serves approximately 26,500 residents of Vernon Hills within Lake County. The district encompasses 5 park and recreation facilities, 7 lakes/ponds, 10 miles of paths, and 25 parks all on 460 acres of land. Vernon Hills Park District is also a recipient of the 2018-2023 Illinois Distinguished Accredited Agency Award, which is awarded to districts that adhere to best practices within the profession.

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