Marana, lighting the way to energy savings

Solar Structure at CR.JPG

On Friday, October 12, the Town of Marana debuted the new Solar/Shade Super Structure at Crossroads at Silverbell District Park. The 9,600 square foot structure covers the existing two basketball courts. 

in addition to the great energy savings achieved from this solar structure, it will also expand the Town of Marana’s ability to provide more recreational and community programs for our citizens. The structure will provide shade during hot Arizona days and it is equipped with state of the art lighting, making games at night an even better experience.

Marana Parks and Recreation believes the structure will provide additional opportunities beyond basketball. 

“This structure will allow the ability to provide programs under this shaded structure during times of the year, that previously would not have been possible on the fully sun-exposed concrete courts,” said Marana Parks and Recreation Director Jim Conroy. “The lights under this structure are high quality LED lamps which will also provide outstanding lighting for night time sporting and community events. From basketball tournaments to community festivals, this new structure will enhance our ability to better serve our residents.”

The structure at Crossroads at Silverbell District Park is the second located in a Marana park, joining a 6,097  sq. ft. solar structure in Ora Mae Harn District Park. Like the structure at Crossroads, this project will not only provide electrical credits and environmentally friendly energy, it will also serve as an outstanding amenity for the park. This structure will provide shade for park patrons watching swim meets in the pool or their children playing on the large playground structure.

The two structures, as well as future structures erected at the Marana Municipal Complex are part of a power-purchase agreement with Solon. The company pays for the installation costs of the solar arrays, while the Town pays a discounted rate for the energy it uses. Estimates by the Town of Marana Public Works Department believe the installations will save the Town roughly $3 million over a 30-year period.

“These two projects went very smoothly,” said Facilities Superintendent Brendan O’Connor, who served as the project’s project manager. “Solon met the schedules laid out in the pre-construction meetings and they were a pleasure to work with.”

The Town of Marana’s other solar projects with solar arrays include the Marana Municipal Complex’s parking lot, the new secure parking lot at the Marana Police Facility, and a collection of solar arrays at the Marana Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

The arrays in the parks are on a net metering systems which gives the Town the ability to produce power during the day and receive credit for nighttime usage.

“The two projects will save money on costly electrical bills and demonstrate that clean energy is a smart choice for the future,” said Marana Public Works Director Mo El-Ali. “These clean-energy investments support building a healthier, more sustainable community where we work, live, and play. The Crossroads park project will provide a nice community engagement platform. We look forward to collaborating and partnering further with Solon to advance further projects.”