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A new greener future for municipal buildings in a South Coast city has been unveiled

goleta solar.jpg
Caroline Feraday
/
KCLU
The City of Goleta unveiled their first solar voltaic project, Monarch 1, on Wednesday

Goleta City Hall has gone solar.

The green ribbon is cut, marking the unveiling and completion of this first solar photovoltaic project at Goleta City Hall on Wednesday.

The project – which is named Monarch 1, after the area’s famous Monarch butterflies – will generate 210kw of solar power, which will power nearly 100% of City Hall’s energy usage with clean, renewable energy, produced on site.

"We are taking a step in the right direction, because this is the first of what we hope to do at all of the City's facilities," the City’s new Sustainability Manager Dana Murray told KCLU.

Murray said it’s not just good for the planet, but will also save the City money.

"This is part of the way to plan ahead for the effects of climate change and try to better plan for the community to buffer those effects," she said. "By taking this climate action we have financial benefits, we have reducing our contributions to greenhouse gases but also creating more resiliency locally."

The panels are not on the roof of the building, but in the parking lot, creating not just electricity but a shady place to park cars and includes pre-wiring for six electric vehicle charging stations.

This is the first solar project of many that the City hopes to install at municipal facilities to offset energy use and meet the City’s 100% renewable electricity goal by the year 2030.

Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte told KCLU, she hopes it’s the first of many clean energy advancements for Goleta.

"We worked on this for a long time, it's something we wanted," she said. "We are going to keep going for all our city-owned buildings and lead by example."

The County of Santa Barbara’s Second District Supervisor Gregg Hart says it’s a shining example for other cities.

"This is a fantastic project, it brings renewable solar power to City Hall in Goleta in a really visible way. Anybody who drives by can look over here and see that the City of Goleta is a climate leader, that they are investing in renewable technology and saving tax payer dollars at the same time," said Hart. "It demonstrates the facts on the ground that this is a good investment that's good for the environment."

Hart continued, "As far as the policy ramifications of that go? It helps trickle through the county of Santa Barbara, the state of California and ultimately influences the national energy policy delate. It shows that you can have it both ways, you can have clean, green power and you save money and reduce costs at the same time."

The Monarch 1 is a big step towards the City of Goleta’s commitment to have at least 50 percent of electricity use by municipal facilities come from renewable sources by 2025.

Caroline won an LA Press Club Award in 2021 for Use Of Sound. However, she started her broadcasting career in the UK, working on both radio and television for the BBC, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism. She moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and is both an American and British citizen. Caroline lives in Agoura Hills with her daughter, and joined the KCLU team in 2020.