Franklin PUD Going Solar - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Franklin PUD Going Solar

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Pasco, WA - The Franklin PUD is going to practice what it preaches.

Today the utility company began a remodeling project to make its headquarters energy efficient.

The PUD building on West Clark Street is 50 years old. The insulation, the windows, and heating systems haven't been updated since the building on West Clark went up in the 1950s.

PUD Energy Services engineer Todd Blackman says the renovation will comprise both active and passive solar modifications, including solar panels that will also act as awnings, providing shade in the summer months.

"The panels will collect solar energy and convert that into electricity, but they'll also shade the windows and reduce solar heat gain," Blackman says. "So they're dual purpose."

The project also calls for more office space for workers and a larger customer service center.

The remodel and expansion will cost nearly three million dollars. The PUD says a new building would have cost three times that much.

The project is scheduled to be finished about this time next year