Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District Awards Contract On Solar Project

Wed 6-24-2020

(Milford)-- The Iowa Great Lake Sanitary District is turning to the sun to power its wastewater treatment plant on the northeast edge of Milford. The district's board of trustees voted Tuesday to award a contract to Ziegler Power Systems for the installation of a solar array. Steve Anderson, Superintendent of the Sanitary District, says the project has a price tag of roughly $850,000. He says it will consist of a 507.6 kilowatt solar array that will generate about 725,000 kilowatt hours annually...Waste Water solar01 

"What we're showing is it will generate about 70 percent of our annual power demand here at the waste water treatment plant. There should be quite a bit of savings off of that and what they're estimating right now is about a seven year payback. The panels are basically warranteed for about 20 years, or guaranteed for 20 years for their output. It's a big cost savings measure but it's also a environmental protective measure as well, so."

Anderson says construction on the project is set to begin in August...Waste Water solar02 

"They've got all the panels and that stuff. It's the manufacturing of the pedestals that they're waiting on, and so they're expecting some time in August to hopefully get things going out there. It will be all here on the property in the fence here at the Sanitary District Treatment Plant."

Anderson says the solar operation is very compatible with the plant's operations...Waste Water solar03 

"The highest demand for our wast water treatment plant is generally in the summer and that's generally because of the tourism that happens because we see the increase in people and usage. And that's generally when the solar panels are going to be producing the most power. And likewise the solar panels will be producing less energy in the winter when our population drops and our demand for electricity drops. So it kind of fits really well with our system due to our fluctuations in population. And the other thing is our demand is highest during the day when people are up and that's when the solar panels are doing their best, so."

Anderson says it's estimated the Sanitary District will be able to lessen its carbon footprint by reducing the equivalent of 565,000 pounds of coal that would have to be burned to generate that amount of power annually.