Energy policy — solar: Central City Town Council approves solar installation for the water treatment plant

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From the Weekly Register-Call/ Gilpin County News (Lynn Volkens):

The Aldermen approved a purchasing agreement with Sun Spot Solar, LLC to install and maintain solar panels at the Boodle Mill site to power the City’s water treatment plant which is adjacent to the Boodle. 312 panels, each about 3’ x 5’ will cover approximately 6,000 square feet of surface area. The solar system is designed to generate 135,000 Kilowatt hours per year (Kwh/yr), 125% of the monthly average energy consumption needed to operate the water plant. The 70 Kilowatt system will cost $285,000 which the City will pay to Sun Spot over a five year period. The City expects to save 57% in energy costs over the five year period ($10,499 per year, totaling $52,494). At the end of the five year period, the City will purchase the system for $9,975 (3.5% of the installation cost). Energy costs, after purchasing the system, are reduced to $0.00 (based on current consumption). The life cycle of the system is 20-25 years. The water plant remains connected to XCEL as a back-up so the plant will never be without power, however, while the solar panels generate energy, all excess power reversed the XCEL energy meter at the plant and build up a credit that the City can use if needed. With this system the City will pay a fixed rate of approximately 6.5 cents kwh ($7,935 annually) compared to the 2010 XCEL rate of 15.056 cents kwh…

Last October the Council directed the City Manager to look into outsourcing day-to-day operations of the City’s water system. The Council considered two companies and ultimately selected Ramey Environmental Compliance, Inc. (REC) to take over operations of the water plant, pumps, reservoirs and general water distribution system. REC is a Colorado certified operator. The City will pay REC $8,050 per month until the contract is terminated, which can be done by either party with 30 days’ notice. REC is to provide a certified operator daily who is to prepare a hand written report and each visit. The operator will also assist in budget preparation. Operations had been handled by an employee of the City’s Public Works Department. That employee will return to duties with that department.

Thanks to Loretta Lohman at Nonpoint Source Colorado for the link.

More solar coverage here and here.

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