Galesburg gets approval for solar power farm

Solar Panels, Photo Date: 03/01/2017 / Photo: PxHere / (MGN)
Solar Panels, Photo Date: 03/01/2017 / Photo: PxHere / (MGN)
Published: Apr. 11, 2019 at 4:22 PM CDT
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Plans for the City of Galesburg to operate its water treatment facility using solar power are moving forward, now that the project has received approval from the Illinois Power Agency.

The city plans to partner with the Community Power Group to build a 1.375 Mega Watt solar farm. It will generate nearly 100-percent of the energy needed at the facility. The solar farm will be located on leased land adjacent to the water treatment plant in Oquawka.

Community Power Group will pay for the construction and operation of the solar facility and sell the city power at a discounted rate. Community Power Group will also receive renewable energy credits for the power produced from the site, which will offset a large portion of the construction and operation costs for the project.

There will be no upfront costs paid by the Galesburg. The project is expected to save the city about $1.7 million over the first 25 years. Construction is expected to be completed this summer and operational in the fall of 2019.

In addition, Galesburg has agreed to host up to four potential community solar gardens. If selected, the projects would provide the opportunity for businesses and residents to receive renewable energy at a discount from existing electric rates. Three of the proposed community solar gardens would be located at the Logistics Park, and one at the Airport. The solar gardens still need approval.