The Chapel Hill town council has given the green light to talks about building more solar facilities on town buildings and parking lots.
While a policy must still be finalized, it could open up opportunities for private developers to lease space on municipal buildings for solar arrays or building solar parking canopies on city-owned parking lots.
Brian Callaway, the town’s energy management specialist, has been working with nonprofit Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy to develop a plan, which could allow a solar development company to lease the space on the city-owned building for the production of solar energy.
A proposed solar array system for the Homestead Aquatic Center, for example, could cost about $350,000 to build, but private developers would be able to take advantage of state and federal tax incentives for which the town is not eligible, Callaway has told town leaders.
The initiative would also boost the town’s effort to reach a goal of a 60 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from municipal operations by 2050.