COACHELLA, Calif. -

The City of Coachella is going solar and it's starting at the Coachella Corporate Yard on Enterprise Way, that's where the city will break ground Sept. 20 on its first solar carport and two electrical vehicle charging stations.
   
The goal is to install enough solar panels to power nearly all of the city's public works and water utility operations.

The carport and charging stations will be completed by November 1.

Jacob Alvarez, Coachella's assistant city manager, said this is the beginning of several energy saving and pollution reducing projects the city's taking on, that's with the help of $5 million in grant money from the south coast air quality management district.

"The city is excited about this. There's a lot of opportunity. To be able to get grant funding, you need to have a Climate Action Plan in place," said Alvarez.

The city's put together a Climate Action Plan for the next 20 years. It includes projects such as a compressed natural gas station, where the public can fuel up. The city will also buy four vehicles that use electricity and compressed natural gas.

Another project is still in the design phase, which is to synchronize traffic signals at nearly a dozen interchanges along Harrison St. and Grapefruit Blvd. to maximize driver's fuel efficiency and cut down on air pollution.

"It's definitely a benefit. The state's initiated it. We're all going to get there, but we have work to do. You can only do as much as your finances allow. So we're working on it and using grant funding to move that forward."

All of these projects are expected to be completed during the next three years.