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Solar Canopies Save Big Spring VA Hospital Over $155,000

The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Big Spring will save nearly $156,000 thanks to 11 solar canopies currently under construction. The project is expected to be completed by the end of June.

BIG SPRING, TX (KWES) - Nearly $156,000, that's how much the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Big Spring will save on electricity thanks to 11 solar canopies.

"In Big Spring, we really do not have the space to do any windmills on the campus of this facility, and because there is not a lot of other opportunities for us, this was the best opportunity for this facility," said Community Relations Coordinator, Iva Jo Hanslik.

We're told the solar canopy project will not be funded through the healthcare budget at the medical center. It has been made possible by special funding from the Green Initiative Program out of Washington.

"Any kind of construction project is a different pot of money," said Hanslik. "But even this Green Initiative is an additional pot of money."

Not only do the canopies serve as solar energy savers, they will also cover 95% of the parking lot, all of which will be shaded once the project is completed.

"It allows them to have a safe place where they can park, it has lighting underneath it," said Chief of Engineering Danny Martin. "We're also able to put cameras underneath there so also it increases the safety of everybody here."

With savings totaling over $155,000, there is only one place that extra money will go.

"Any money that we save in operations of this facility, we can convert it to healthcare needs," said Hanslik.