Boise unveils first zero net energy building

Zero net energy building opens in Boise.

KUNA -- A building breaking barriers in energy efficiency officially opened Monday.

Boise's Twenty-Mile South biosolids application site is Idaho's first commercial zero net energy building.

Biosolids program manager Ben Nydegger said the 198 solar panels on the business' roof replenish all of the energy used at the site.

"We will not ever have a power bill, if everything works out how it was designed," he said. "We're not off the grid, we're simply consuming power from one side and putting power back in the grid on the other side."

Nydegger said the building will produce a little more energy than it uses in the summer and a little less in the winter, evening out over the year.

"We're a little bit ahead of the curve actually, out here," he said.

Energy use isn't the only way the facility breaks even: Nydegger said the biosolids diverted to the site from wastewater treatment plants are used to fertilize crops at the facility's farm. Revenue from selling those crops is put back into the sewer fund, where it is used to keep rates low.

"The fact that we can be revenue nuetral or even a little bit revenue positive is a great thing," Nydegger said. "A lot of other communities would die to be where we're at."

He credited city leaders for having the foresight to buy the land for the biosolids site back in 1994.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and other local leaders were among those who turmed out for the building's grand opening. The City of Boise has said the project is part of their sustainability initiative. Among other goals, the initiative aims to have all new city buildings at zero net energy by 2030.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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