Ontario is Summer Ready

August 16, 2022

As the summer months roll in, Ontario already has been preparing for the hot days ahead. Upgrading facilities has been a part of Smart Ontario, the citywide effort to modernize energy infrastructure.
With the anticipated summer heat comes public health risk and public safety power shutoffs (PSPS)–both of which Ontario is now better prepared to handle. Battery storage, solar panels and high-efficiency air conditioning units (HVACs) complete with smart controls are a big part of Smart Ontario, enhancing the community’s resiliency against the unpredictable nature of seasonal environmental events. 
“Being in the Inland Empire, we’re going to get many sweltering days that put the outdoor temperature in the 100s and put us at risk of power outages,” commented Ontario Mayor Paul S. Leon. “The array of new and improved infrastructure we’ve brought to City facilities helps our community handle these kinds of situations. From cooling centers with quality air-conditioned rooms to battery storage that enables critical services to stay online, Ontario is adapting.”
New HVACs at designated cooling centers will run as efficiently as possible all summer long and offer high quality air filtration. Heating and cooling buildings is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, but Ontario’s new high efficiency HVACs significantly reduce energy consumption, GHG production and pollution. Ontario residents can find local cooling centers on the City of Ontario’s cooling center website page to stay cool this summer.
Like many cities, Ontario is subject to rolling blackouts from PSPS. This typically slows critical public safety services, but not for the Ontario Police Department. New battery storage at the police department’s call center will mean dispatchers can continue their essential services regardless of a PSPS event. Moreover, the police department’s battery storage increases the resiliency of local power grids, helping reduce the chance of PSPS events altogether.
“Smart Ontario is a multi-pronged effort to advance our vision of a premier community in the Inland Empire,” said City Manager Scott Ochoa. “That vision entails adapting to what comes our way and being a force for change in our region. This program helps advance these priorities with several key technologies putting them to the test this time of year.
Smart Ontario will also increase energy efficiency because of significant improvements, such as new LED lighting systems and solar panels at the Convention Center, police department and City Hall Annex. The program is expected to save Ontario $75 million over the life of the new equipment. Construction is targeted for completion this fall.

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