After deliberating over a solar project that would lessen the electricity expenses of the Ironhouse Sanitary District (ISD), officials finally waved the green flag and entered into a purchase agreement with RGS Energy to deploy a solar power system at its water recycling facility and administration building in Oakley, California.
"RGS Energy showed us how going solar can be a sound and easily affordable investment, while providing significant environmental benefits to the community we serve," said Jenny Skrel, district engineer at ISD.
As this new solar power system is expected to drastically reduce the company's cost of electricity, while decreasing the carbon footprint, ISD appears to be quite enthusiastic about the installation of a 1.1 MW single-axis tracking system and 60 kilowatt carport system.
This move is expected to generate more than 2.3 million kilowatt hours of solar electricity per year to power the facilities and decrease the carbon footprint, with zero capital to implement.
RGS energy will design, install, monitor and maintain the solar power system. ISD will purchase the solar energy generated from the Constellation Energy Group for less than what it pays to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. RGS energy is scheduled to start construction in the fall of 2013 and complete the project in 1Q of 2014.
Here’s what ISD stands to gain in the process: Over the 25 year period, the company's cost of electricity will be reduced by at least $95,000 in the first year alone. What is even more heartening is that it will save more than $5.9 million and the solar energy generated will offset more than 89 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
Proud to bring clean renewable energy to ISD facilities, Tim Seamans, general manager at RGS energy, praised the efforts of the water recycling district to serve the community better by “trimming costs and being good stewards of the environment.”
Considering that the district treats approximately 2.5 million gallons of wastewater every day at its modern treatment facility, and reclaimed water is applied to 334 acres of agricultural land on Jersey Island, ISD’s current electrical expenditure is more than $600,000 per year.
Thus harnessing sunlight, a free and renewable source of energy, is a realistic way to drastically reduce electric costs and become greener in the process.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson