In 2017, Buncombe County adopted a resolution which set a goal of reaching 100% renewable energy for county operations by 2030 and for the entire community by 2042. The City of Asheville followed suit in 2018 when the City Council approved a resolution that established a 100% renewable energy goal for Asheville. The two agencies decided to work in collaboration to create a road map to reach their goals in an economically responsible, socially just and technologically feasible way.
In late 2019, after a year of planning, the final report, Moving to 100%: Renewable Energy Transition Pathways for Buncombe County and the City of Asheville, was released. Having determined that the use of solar energy would play a key role in making this plan a reality, Buncombe County and The City of Asheville brought Pisgah Energy on board to handle all of the design and analysis necessary to select the most suitable sites for potential solar projects.
We are honored to partner with the City of Asheville and Buncombe County on these solar projects that will serve their facilities for the next 30+ years. Having worked in the solar industry for over 20 years, I’m really excited to see the role our local government is taking to address climate change. Climate change doesn’t care about politics but governance can have real impact on the health and energy security of our communities.
– Evan Becka, President, Pisgah Energy
The Pisgah Energy team, working closely with Buncombe County Sustainability Officer, Jeremiah LeRoy, City of Asheville Energy Program Coordinator, Bridget Herring, as well as representatives from Buncombe County Schools, Asheville City Schools and A-B Tech, completed site assessments, preliminary designs and feasibility studies for over 50 potential solar projects with a capacity totaling over 8 MWs.
Pisgah Energy has played a pivotal role in moving our organization toward a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. They handled all of our solar design and analysis needs with timeliness and professionalism. Their knowledge and experience has helped us through every level of the decision making process. We have been very fortunate to have them as a critical part of our energy management team.
– Jeremiah LeRoy, Buncombe County Sustainability Officer
This preliminary work has allowed each organization to review and assess each project on their overall merit and financial feasibility, making it possible to move to the next step – releasing an RFP. At the end of 2019, Buncombe County and the City of Asheville approved the move to do just that. Pisgah Energy has since partnered with Optima Engineering to provide construction drawings to be included in the RFP. Additionally, Summit Design and Engineering confirmed the structural capacity of each facility.
Each solar project meets the unique requirements of the corresponding facility while addressing the needs and concerns of the individual organization. Projects range from a floating solar array, to rooftop installations, to ground mounts, to canopies for parking decks. The resulting solar energy generated would collectively offset the energy usage of these facilities by 47%, creating a total annual output of 10,811 MWh of electricity and accrue a 1st year energy savings of $720,000.
While installing solar is only one of the pathways to 100 for Buncombe County and The City of Asheville, these projects may serve as the most visible reminder that these organizations, aligned with common purpose, intend to take action on their commitment to become climate leaders — inspiring other organizations to follow their example and creating a clean energy future that benefits every individual and every community that calls the City of Asheville and Buncombe County home.
Pisgah Energy is on a mission to lead the transition of commercial, municipal and institutional clients from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. We serve our clients using insight and expertise derived from 20 years working in the renewable energy sector. . We provide comprehensive solar and energy storage design & development services for commercial, municipal, and institutional clients across the Southeast. Our team has a proven track record of developing solar and energy storage projects that are both innovative and uniquely tailored to meet the needs of each individual client.
Optima Engineering is recognized as a regional leader in sustainable engineering and innovative and progressive design solutions. We integrate the latest technology into our designs for the built environment’s growing need for efficient, future-ready buildings, thus fulfilling our passion: design buildings that use less resources while enhancing the occupant experience. Our mission is to provide high performance, sustainable, efficient engineering design for all building types, so that owners and occupants will consume fewer resources while maintaining high quality buildings.
Summit Design and Engineering Services is an industry leading full service architectural and engineering firm. We began as a civil engineering and survey firm and have rapidly grown to offer multiple design disciplines specifically developed to provide our clients with a single ‘go-to’ resource. Our focus is on helping clients get the most out of their facilities. Whether the work is on existing infrastructure or new construction, the end result promotes the Owner’s business, supports their staff and clients, and improves revenue.