MANATEE -- Manatee County commissioners Tuesday OK'd a $12.5 million energy savings project, part of which calls for a new chiller plant in downtown Bradenton designed to cool government and private buildings less expensively.
Government buildings expected to reap energy savings include Manatee Countys Administration Building and its Central Library, officials said.
The new chiller plant could also accommodate private businesses.
Helping with the project will be the county's partner, Florida Power & Light Co.
The chiller plant will be built on county-owned land north of Bradentons U.S. Post Office at 824 Manatee Ave. W.
Pumping chilled water through underground piping could cool buildings up to a mile away.
The project calls for a variety of energy saving improvements and simpler maintenance that, over time, will help pay its cost, officials said.
Among the chiller plants possible first clients could be the city of Bradenton and SunTrust Bank, Charlie Bishop, the county director of property management, said after the commission vote.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.