August 4, 2010

City buildings in West Memphis going green

The City of West Memphis has been granted federal funds to upgrade HVAC systems and lighting at three municipal buildings and reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

The city has received $545,000 for the improvements at City Hall, the Civic Center and the Municipal Court building. Once complete, the three buildings will require less power to operate resulting in reduced CO2 emissions of about 160 metric tons per year.

The funds, which originated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, were awarded from a pool of $5 million through a program of the Arkansas Energy Office called the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.

The project evaluated different a variety of cooling systems, including geothermal. But readily available energy-efficient air conditioning units proved to provide the most effective savings. The air conditioning units in City Hall are the original units installed 36 years ago in 1974 when the building was built.

More than 650 lights will be replaced with energy efficient lighting.

Work is expected to begin in August.