When the new police station opens in Hesperia next year, not only will the city's contingent of San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department deputies and staff have more room to work, they'll also save a whole lot of money on their power bill.

The city announced Friday that they had received a $775,100 energy efficiency conservation block grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that will pay for a large portion of solar panels that will be used at the new police station, which will be located next to city hall and the city library.

"The solar panels will go on the roof of both the parking structures and the roof of the police facility," said city spokeswoman Kelly Malloy. "The system is expected to produce just over 426 [kilowatt hours] annually. ... That's 90 percent of the building's energy needs. So it would have a significant impact."

The federal grant isn't paying for all of the solar panels, but it's a good start.

"The total [solar panel] project from start to finish is $1.9 million, so the city's portion would be $475,000," said Malloy. "We're also working with Edison for an incentive rebate. ... It would basically pay for itself."

The installation of the solar panels will create jobs for 35 contractors, according to Malloy, and the solar panels have an expected life span of 25 years.

The new Hesperia police station is scheduled to open fall 2010.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/HesperiaStar.