Johnson Controls Partners with La Crosse, Wis., to Achieve City’s Sustainability Goals

Johnson Controls and the city of La Crosse, Wis., have launched the next phase of the city’s sustainability initiative. Building on the significant progress made through their initial sustainability investments, this next phase will deliver solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy-efficiency installations throughout city fire stations, at community libraries and within several city parks, as well as LED upgrades to the city’s street lighting. The initial phases, begun in 2019, included infrastructure updates and the addition of solar arrays throughout four community facilities. The improvements will generate $7.98 million in total savings and reduce energy consumption by 35 percent in those buildings.

“We set ambitious sustainability goals to support our community for generations to come. I’m proud to see the incredible progress we have been able to make working with Johnson Controls over the past three years,” said city of La Crosse mayor, Mitch Reynolds. “These updates will not only reduce the city’s environmental impact and achieve cost efficiency, but they will also attract more people and businesses to La Crosse by making a more comfortable and vibrant place to live and work, without costing taxpayers a dime. We’ve built great momentum through our initial phases, and as we begin the new one, this is only the beginning of our city’s commitment to a greener future.”

In the initial phase, Johnson Controls installed four 100-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays at City Hall, the La Crosse Center, the main public library and the Municipal Service Center. Solar technologies convert sunlight into electrical energy and this energy will be used to create city-owned clean energy resources. In the new phase, JCI will install three additional PV arrays at two fire stations and Copeland Park. It will also upgrade street lighting with LED lighting and implement additional energy saving solutions at several city facilities and parks. The new phase is expected to generate an additional $3.2 million in total cost savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 900 metric tons over 15 years.

“We are proud to partner with the city of La Crosse and help them reach their carbon neutrality pledge without raising taxes. We’re excited to continue to implement the power of Johnson Controls OpenBlue technologies to build on what we have achieved,” adds Mark Reinbold, vice president and general manager, Performance Infrastructure for Johnson Controls. “Since 2019, our team has worked collaboratively with the City of La Crosse to implement a stellar sustainability, resiliency and renewable energy program. We look forward to continued partnership to make their vision for a green community a reality.”

All three phases are made possible through a performance contract, a modern funding approach that transfers the risk to Johnson Controls by using operational energy cost savings over time to help fund the improvements. In total, over $9 million in investments will be made without diverting from the city’s capital budget. In addition to the performance contract the city of La Crosse leveraged locally available grants totaling over $360,000. These resources, such as Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy and Xcel Energy credits and incentives, are helping the city of La Crosse start investing in sustainability for generations to come.

Selected for its distinguished experience in energy efficiency, financing capabilities and performance guarantees, Johnson Controls is providing long-term comprehensive energy services, including the design, construction, integration and administration of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems.

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