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New Coos Bay Fire Station adds solar and gets a tax credit
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Ann Grim, 503-378-4912
In Oregon 1-800-221-8035

SALEM—In 1956, the City of Coos Bay added a “temporary” building on to its City Hall to house Fire Station No. 1. The “temporary” facility remained a fire station for the next 54 years.
The building was too small and poorly designed for a modern fire station. The fire chief was also concerned that if there had been an earthquake, the equipment (and firefighters) would be trapped in a pile of rubble.
Thanks to a $6.9 million bond approved by voters in the May 2008 Presidential primary election, the old fire station is now closed and scheduled for demolition. A beautiful new fire station with twice the square footage and built for earthquake stability began operation in June, 2010.
“It will be LEED certified,” said Mark Anderson, deputy fire chief. “We aimed for gold and may get platinum.” LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, an internationally recognized sustainable “green” building certification system. Platinum is the highest LEED rating.
The new station has many sustainable features including:
  • A Presbyterian Church was razed to make room for the station on Elrod Street. Concrete from the church was used as fill; the wood floor from the church sanctuary was used in the new station lobby; a pew from the church is being used as lobby seating. More than 85 percent of the church was recycled for the new building.
  • 60 percent of the subcontractors were local residents.
  • An electric vehicle charging station is available.
  • Rainwater is captured and stored underground to water landscaping and test fire pumps.
  • Clover provides a green patch replacing higher maintenance grass.
  • The concrete is stained light to reflect the sun.
  • A metal roof reflects the sun.
  • There is maximum amount of natural light entering the building and numerous skylights.
  • Some of the building insulation material is made with recycled blue jeans.
  • The training room is used by various community groups including knitting clubs, the Red Cross and book groups.
  • There are spaces for bike parking.
  • The firefighters gear is located by the water heaters to help dry them after wear and to keep them away them from the fumes of the fire trucks.
  • There are automatic turnoffs on cooking equipment if fire fighters need to respond to an alarm.
  • The grounds are planted with low-water landscaping materials.
  • There are two solar thermal water heaters that provide up to 90 percent of the station needs.
  • There is a 23,600 kilowatt hour solar electric system on the roof to produce part of the facility’s electrical needs.
The solar system cost an estimated $110,994. The City applied for a Business Energy Tax Credit through the Oregon Department of Energy. They should qualify for a tax credit of 50 percent of eligible costs ($55,497) that the City will transfer to a private entity with tax liability in exchange for a 36.821 percent cash payment ($40,869). The Energy Trust of Oregon also contributed a $34,650 incentive. Kyle Electric, Inc. of Coos Bay installed the solar system.
Despite being twice the space as the old station, Anderson said that the City has been told that their utility bills in the new fire station should remain about the same. The installation of a solar electric system and energy efficient measures incorporated into the new facility are responsible for the more efficient use of energy in the new station.
The energy tax credit and incentives make the measures affordable for the City which has waited 54 long years to move from their “temporary” fire station into a permanent and long-term facility.
About the Department of Energy: The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) provides tax credits, loans, technical assistance and energy information for homes, businesses, manufacturing, farms, ranches, schools and governments. For more information, visit ODOE’s website at www.oregon.gov/energy.


Oregon Department of Energy
Main OfficeHermiston Field Office
625 Marion St. NE, Salem, OR 97301-3737
395 E Highland Rd.
Phone: 503-378-4040Hermiston, OR 97838
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