Clark County has selected Schneider Electric of Seattle to develop a proposal for a new central heating plant that, if approved, could provide a clean, cost-effective way to lower fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
The proposed central heating plant would use the latest technology to generate heat for county buildings and electricity from recycled forest debris that otherwise would be burned in open “slash” piles.
“This central heating plant has the potential to be a win for taxpayers and the environment,” said General Services Director Mark McCauley.
The facility would reduce fossil fuel emissions by about 28,660 tons per year, the equivalent of taking 6,200 cars off local roads or 3,700 homes off the electricity grid each year.
The facility would also save taxpayers an estimated $1.5 million over the next 20 years.
To proceed, Schneider Electric must ensure the facility would be in full compliance with air quality laws and all regulatory requirements at a county-owned site in downtown Vancouver near the county jail and courthouse.
“Clark County is committed to being a leader in using renewable energy and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. This project will make the county one of the few public entities in the country to produce more green energy than it consumes,” McCauley said.