Arizona RV Park Invests $$ in Solar Power
The sun shines brightly on Venture Out RV Resort active adult community in east Mesa, Ariz. Residents at the pool, recreation center and administrative building are enjoying solar electricity as the weather begins to heat up in the Valley.
Last month the community homeowners association celebrated its commitment to green energy after the resort installed solar panels on parking structures, arizona.newszap.com reported.
“We went solar because of the incentives offered by Salt River Project (SRP) and the government,” resident and Venture Out Condo Board Association member Mike Ellis said. “It reduces our carbon footprint and it will save us money on our power bills.”
The solar power system cost $997,000 to install, according to Ellis. However, it is expected to offset 65% of electricity costs at the recreation center and 100% of the pool operations and administrative building, according to information provided by SRP.
An overwhelming 80% of the residents of Venture Out RV Resort approved the solar panels installation during a vote summer 2012, according to Ellis. “We have received only positive comments about the system and the community likes the idea of the shaded parking structures. They have also commented that the solar panels gives us an air of being modern and progressive,” Ellis said.
A press release from SRP says that more than 1,300 photovoltaic panels were installed and the system produces more than 300 kilowatts of power. Patricia Garcia-Likens with SRP says the total project took about 10 months to complete.
“The system should last more than 20 years,” Garcia-Likens said in a e-mail. “Venture Out is the largest solar project for an RV community that we’ve seen. It is not too common for RV resorts to go solar.”
She said getting the green, solar energy just made sense to the people who live there.
“They will tell you that their initial concerns were about saving money off their total electric bill and hedging against possible future utility price increases,” Garcia-Likens said.
Research obtained from the Maricopa County Tax Assessor, SRP and a Venture Out Realtor showed that in 2012 the highest price paid for electricity was $219,500 with the lowest price being $29,000.
Both Garcia-Likens and Ellis say it is too early to tell exactly how much money the system will save the RV resort.
Although cooling off cars and golf carts is nice with the solar paneled parking structure, the Venture Out Solar Committee said in a press release that the system helps move the community into the 21st century.
The SRP Residential Solar Energy Programs used to complete the project are designed to reduce the cost of installing a new solar electric or solar water heating system for homes and businesses, according to Garcia-Likens.
Anyone interested in information about the programs can visit www.srpnet.com/solarbiz.