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.