The City of Wilmington has more than 1,100 employees and manages more than 900,000 square feet of city facilities. These facilities and users consume more than 9 million kWh of electricity each year. Facilities (buildings) and Traffic Engineering (streetlighting) spend close to $2 million on electricity annually. In addition to electricity, the city consumes natural gas, propane and diesel to fuel emergency generators, heating sources and supplemental energy. To conserve resources, the city is committed to implementing environmentally and fiscally sound projects to reduce energy consumption and save tax dollars throughout city facilities and properties.

Energy Inventory

In 2011, the City of Wilmington conducted an energy and greenhouse gas inventory in order to measure its emissions resulting from municipal operations. The purpose of the inventory is to measure and track energy use as a first step to developing energy reduction goals and developing an energy management program. Read the full inventory(PDF, 3MB) and learn more about what the City of Wilmington is doing to reduce its emissions.

Solar Energy

Solar panelsRenewable energy is a great option for reducing the environmental impact of municipal operations. The Operations Center Engineering and Fleet buildings received two solar arrays through the 2010 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant award. The solar arrays are tied to the grid, providing a reduction in the overall energy cost to operate the buildings. 

  • Fleet Maintenance: Solar PV array-73.92kW system produces approximately 89,300 kWh annually.
  • Engineering building: Solar PV array-26.88kW system produces approximately 33,300 kWh annually.

The Streetsweeper facility, as a part of a total net-zero design/build project, includes solar photovoltaic and solar thermal heating for the radiant slab, a concrete slab with pipes installed to provide heat to the floor area. View the live solar energy generated at the Streetsweeper site.

The Miracle Field at Brax Stadium, located in Olsen Park, also features a donated 9.6 kW solar system to offset the long-term electricity cost of the field.

LED Street & Area Light Replacement Project

The City of Wilmington’s Traffic Engineering division has converted approximately 8,000 leased streetlights and area lights to Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology through Duke Energy Progress’ leasing program. The conversion will save the city over $200,000 in leasing cost and over 870,000 kWh of energy consumption annually. The energy savings is equivalent to CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 84.6 homes in one year or the carbon sequestered annually by 504 acres of forests.

Facility Energy Efficiency Projects

The City of Wilmington’s Facility division works to promote energy efficiency through a variety of projects. The division has completed LED lighting retrofits in several city facilities, including the MLK Recreation Center, Derek Davis Community Center at Maides Park, fire stations, and Police Headquarters. The electricity use reduction from these LED lighting retrofit projects ranges from 40% to 70%.