Iowa Lakes Regional Water (ILRW) is teaming up with Trusted Energy to collaborate on the development of renewable assets for ILRW’s regional facilities. Renewable energy is a great fit for a water and wastewater treatment plant to offset rising electrical costs and potentially become a net producer of clean energy by contributing excess production to the power grid. There are currently 24 potential sites under review for renewables. Sites have been divided into five clusters, ranked, and prioritized in terms of needs.
ILRW Board of Directors voted on January 17, 2017 to explore the implementation of wind and solar throughout the water district’s distribution system. Costs keep going up for the water district, and the district must pass those costs on to their 4,373 water customers and their 879 wastewater customers. Energy costs for their facilities recently took another electric rate increase. One utility announced a 7% rate increase and another is looking to increase a total of 10% over the next two years.
The electric utilities suppling service to the water district have been implementing renewable electricity generating assets for the same reason Iowa Lakes Regional Water is exploring the option. Renewable electricity will not have the fuel cost normally associated with a coal or natural gas power plant. ILRW will have a fixed expense for the electricity for the next 20 to 50 years of the renewable equipment’s usable life.
During warmer temperatures, energy demands grow due to seasonal higher usage. Solar has an advantage during those peak times, as there is plenty of available sunshine. To meet energy demands during low-sun production days, the use of net-metering with both solar and wind will help ILRW balance out variable output between the solar production and the electricity usage.
Trusted Energy is a full-service renewable energy company based out of Spencer, Iowa. Trusted Energy provides engineering, design, installation, and maintenance of renewable energy projects for farms, businesses, homes, and municipalities.
Last Tuesday night (Jan. 10), the Marathon City Council voted to continue exploring the development of a solar project on city-owned ground. At Tuesday’s council meeting, Trusted Energy delivered the results of their findings, which indicated that the City of Marathon could save citizens a minimum of $2 million dollars in electric costs over the next 20 years through the installation of a 1.42MW solar project.
The vote Tuesday does not commit the city to the project, but it does start the exploratory process. Trusted Energy has started the contract portion of the project, which includes the negotiation of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The City will also be planning a meeting next month to gather community feedback.
When asked about how the planning, engineering, equipment, and installation costs are going to be funded Rob Hach, CEO of Trusted Energy, explained, “The cost for the project will not require the city to bond or take on more debt as the project will be owned and operated by Marathon Power Partners, LLC, which will be a collaboration of local investors and banks to finance the project.” Mr. Hach also said that with the current plan the renewable energy generation asset should pay for itself within the next 10 years.
Currently, there are both Federal and State tax credits which are in place to stimulate solar installations. Besides the tax incentives, Mr. Hach explained, “Tax credits are a true benefit but the most exciting news about the solar industry is that demand for solar is driving down the costs associated with equipment.” According to the solar industry, the cost of solar has dropped around sixty percent over the last ten years. A Marathon city official has been quoted, “This is a way to save our citizens money and encourage economic growth in our community while giving us more energy options.”
Marathon is planning on using a former baseball field on the north edge of the city of Marathon in order to produce around 2 Million kilowatt hours per year.
Trusted Energy is a full-service renewable energy company based out of Spencer, Iowa. Trusted Energy provides engineering, design, installation, and maintenance of renewable energy assets for farms, businesses, homes, and municipalities.
Welcome! Trusted Energy looks forward to working with you on your next renewable energy project. With federal & state tax incentives, depreciation, and grant dollars, we are confident solar is an affordable option for you to consider. Contact us with any questions. We are here to help!
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Trusted Energy™ has developed this payback and return on investment (ROI) calculator to help you see the potential savings from installing a renewable energy system. It is important to keep in mind that the results of this calculator are to be taken as indicative only, and are not intended to take the place of advice from one of our professionals.