Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.
KINGMAN – UniSource Energy Services, the leading provider of gas and electric utilities in the area, dedicated a $20,000 solar ramada Tuesday to power pumps for the Splash Pad at Cecil Davis Park.
The steel structure with roof-mounted solar panels also provides shade for a picnic table next to the Splash Pad, which was built in 2016 by the Venture Club of Kingman with $250,000 in community donations.
Nicole White, program manager for UniSource, said the solar project will save the City of Kingman about $1,000 a year in electricity costs to run the pumps for the Splash Pad.
“We were approached by the Venture Club, and we wanted to get on board with them and the inspiration of giving back to the community,” White said during a dedication ceremony at the park with city and UniSource officials.
She said the solar ramada is part of UniSource’s push for renewable resources to power the community. In April, UniSource dedicated the 5-megawatt Steven Jacobson solar plant north of Kingman, which can produce enough electricity to power 900 homes a year.
“We can’t thank you enough,” said Mike Meersman, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Kingman. “We’re not finished yet. We’re going to continue to make this (Splash Pad) project better and better.”
He said the next step is to add a sidewalk to the restroom.
White said the estimated $20,000 cost to build the solar ramada was defrayed by donated materials and discounted services from local contractors such as DeVault Electric, Acton Welding, Becker Construction, Desert Construction and TrueValue Hardware.
The solar panels will reduce the load on the Splash Pad pumps by 90 percent, said Anthony Lombardi, technical specialist for UniSource.
“It’s a good thing for the community,” he said. “It helps taxpayers out with electricity costs not being so high.”