Music City Center officials engage local firm for solar panel work

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Energy Source Partners effort will bolster facility´s environmental sustainability

Music City Center project leaders said Friday they have enlisted a local firm specializing in renewable energy solutions to design a solar panel system for the roof of the massive convention facility currently under construction in SoBro.

The work with Energy Source Partners is another step towards environmental sustainability for the MCC, according to Larry Atema, senior project and development manager.

“The building has always been structurally designed to accommodate solar panels,” Atema said in a release. “We’re now taking the next step towards making this a reality.”

Atema said Energy Source Partners will create a solar program over the next 30-60 days, based on several criteria, including optimum size of kilowatts, cost and financing structure for the system, maintenance options and scheduling. The firm will present proposals for small-, medium- and large-scale solar plans to the project and development team for the Convention Center Authority.

Energy Source Partners is led by President and CEO Ron Merville, a 35-year veteran Nashville-based professional engineer, and Philip Cheney, ESP project management professional.

“The Music City Center is a perfect site for solar panels," Merville said. "They will help offset the electrical costs in the center — and do it with renewable energy by converting sunlight into energy. We will be looking at options for the center to consider ranging in size from small (25 kilowatts) to large (more than 200 kilowatts).”

After analyzing recommendations from Energy Source Partners, the project management team will determine the next step towards installation of the system.

The Music City Center is on track to be certified as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver. Building features earning LEED points include a four-acre green roof, LED lighting, and a 350,000-gallon water storage tank that will hold water to be used for irrigation of landscaping and flushing of toilets.