BEND, Ore. -

Summer time is especially busy at Bend Park & Recreation District, but this summer there is even more activity with the installation of new solar panels on the district’s administrative office building at Riverbend Park.

The new solar panels and installation are made possible through grants from The Oregon Department of Energy, Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Renewable Energy and cash incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon resulting in no cost to Bend Park and Recreation District taxpayers. Installation is by Sunlight

Solar Energy Inc., a Bend commercial and residential solar system installer. “Bend Park and Recreation District has been a leader in local environmentally sustainable practices,” said Mark Ellington, BPRD Facilities and Construction Manager.

“Adding solar panels to the existing building helps the district to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources used to produce grid-sourced electricity. We hope that other people will see the panels and consider them in their construction projects.”

District staff estimates that over $3,000 in direct energy costs will be saved annually.

Built in 2009 and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified, the district office was constructed with the needed structural features necessary so that a solar system could be added later.

“Building to LEED’s gold certification standard is commendable and definitely contributed to lower installation costs. Bend Park and Recreation is a testament to the benefits of building solar ready,” stated Paul Israel, Sunlight Solar Energy Inc.’s president.

Completion is expected by late summer. A ribbon-cutting ceremony as well as a “How To Go Solar” seminar provided by Sunlight Solar Energy Inc. is scheduled near completion. The public will be invited to attend and learn more about the benefits of solar power for homes, businesses and at your Bend Parks and Recreation District office.