The City of Muskogee is moving toward green energy as their Civic Center becomes one of the first municipal buildings in Oklahoma to run partially on solar polar.
From the street, the Muskogee Civic Center looks like it always has, but up on the roof, it's a different story. It’s now covered in nearly 900 solar panels, one of the largest rooftop arrays in Oklahoma according to ArrowPoint Co-Owner Shawn Roberts.
"This size of a system would power about 36 average homes, to give you perspective of how much power this produces in a year’s time," said Roberts.
Roberts said that's enough power to cut the energy bill for the Civic Center by about half, which will prevent 340,000 pounds of coal from being burnt every year. Muskogee Mayor Marlon Coleman said it's a big step for the city.
"For us to move forward as a community with this solar panel project says that our community is one that's ready to address the needs of the future while taking the necessary steps in the present," Coleman said.
The project is costing the city almost half a million dollars, but Roberts said they'll make that back in about 10 years. Roberts said the system could save the city a total of $2 million after 30 years.
"These steps that are taken by the council and the city manager and his staff will go a long way to being certain that Muskogee remains a viable community for generations to come," Coleman said.
The mayor hopes this project will lead to other solar projects across the city. The system is expected to be up and running next week.