The first solar array, one of several additions to the city’s Porter reservoir filtration plant, is expected to generate 650,000kWh of electricity annually and cover nearly 25% of the load at the plant.

Honeywell will construct a second roof-mounted array at the public works yard and municipal complex, which will add 300,000kWh of renewable energy. This array will be financed by a clean renewable energy bond from the Department of Treasury.

The program is expected to help the city meet the environmental commitments it adopted. It will also decrease carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 4.4 million pounds each year.

The city will pay for the entire program from the energy savings the upgrades produce. Honeywell guarantees approximately $1.14m in savings per year under a 20-year performance contract. In addition, the improvements are expected to generate $16m in savings above the guaranteed amount over the course of the contract.

Wilmington will use more than $9.5m from a low-interest ARRA stimulus loan through the Delaware Division of Public Health’s Office of Drinking Water and an energy efficiency and conservation block grant from the Department of Energy to help finance the program at the outset.

Along with the solar installations, Honeywell put in a booster pumping station that will increase the available capacity of the Porter reservoir from 4 million to 30 million gallons. The increased capacity will allow the city to draw from the reservoir during the day and shift most of its raw water pumping to off-peak hours when utility rates are low.

Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions, said: “Maximizing stimulus funding through performance contracts can be a powerful tool in meeting environmental goals and reducing long-term costs. Honeywell has a long track record of helping municipalities like Wilmington find the right mix of energy supply and conservation measures that will not only deliver environmental benefits, but also improve the bottom line.”