Solar panels save big money in Myrtle Point

KCBY, Dec 31, 2010

The Myrtle Point food pantry will soon be running on solar energy, which will save the food bank $16,000 in energy costs each year.

Thanks to a $40,000 grant from Pacific Power, the Myrtle Point food pantry will soon get a high-tech upgrade.

Solar panels will grace the roof of one of the busiest pantry’s on the South Coast, making it a net-zero solar installation that will meet all the energy needs of the large building.

Patricia Gouveia, Essential Services Director at ORCCA says, “so in essence, that’s like getting $16,000 in a food grant. So that money, instead of going for electricity will go for food. For us, it was very important and it was also important to show our model of sustainability goes hand in hand with the services we provide people.”

Gouveia says the amount of people that come to the South Coast’s only shopping-style food pantry has doubled since it first opened, making it the perfect candidate for such an upgrade.

She says  ORCCA recently secured another large grant to install solar panels on low-income homes on the coast.

“The idea being if people aren’t putting that money into their energy needs they can buy food and hopefully meet other needs they have that will help them be more sustainable,” says Gouveia.

Crews are set to start putting solar panels up at the end of March, and it should only take about six weeks for installation to be complete.