MOUNT CARROLL – A solar energy provider presented options to the City Council on Tuesday that included a way that would essentially eliminate the proposed new sewer plant’s electric bills in about 7 years.
Last year’s electric usage with Jo-Carroll Energy totaled 137,080 kilowatt hours, which cost $15,681, Eagle Point Solar representative Matthew Shear said.
An Eagle Point solar power array that generates 102 kilowatts and costs $225,000 to $250,000 could produce that same amount of energy, and would pay for itself in about 7 years, Shear said.
A grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation could pay for the array, he said.
Or, a group other than the city – for instance, Jo-Carroll Energy – could own the array, from which the city would purchase the power.
Also Tuesday, Steve Haring with MSA Professional Services told the council that the floodplain analysis of the site, where the current plant sits, will begin this week or next. Plans call for building the new treatment plant on site, but flooding is a concern.
MSA also plans to do soil-boring tests yet this year, and Haring and Shear have discussed the solar power options, Haring said.
“We’re a ways off, as far as what’s actually going to be built and where it’s going to be built. But we’re willing and ready to assist you moving forward,” Haring said.
The council also learned that city workers put wooden beams at the beginning and end of the the Galena Street Bridge, and lag bolts in each crossbeam, to reduce noise as traffic crosses the 115-year-old span.
“It’s way better and you can hardly hear it,” Alderman Mike Risko Jr. said.