CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Police, firefighters and other first responders in Chattanooga now have a way to stay online, even if the power is out.
EPB revealed what it calls 'the microgrid' Thursday morning.
This system includes solar panels on top of Chattanooga's Police Service Center.
The solar power will be gathered and stored, just in case.
The buildings already had backup power generators, but it wasn't always enough.
When disaster strikes and leaves entire communities in the dark without power, it provides such peace of mind to know that Chattanooga will have reliable energy for emergency response services,' said Chattanooga Fire Department Chief Phil Hyman. 'When the power goes out, communications systems fail and that can leave lives on the line. With public safety in the microgrid’s footprint, we can help keep regional infrastructure, such as responder operations, functioning.
The Power to Protect microgrid includes two main generation and storage systems that reduce costs and allow both the City and EPB to recoup their investments more quickly:
Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly says the microgrid will pay for itself in 7 years.
The city already installed a similar solar power generator at its wastewater treatment plant.
This is a developing story and will be updated.