Pat Prokop reported for WTOC 4 August 2011, Darien water treatment plant gets solar panels:
A McIntosh County water treatment plant is going green and saving hundreds of dollars in utility bills.Prokop put a bunch of pictures on facebook.
The city of Darien’s wastewater treatment plant outfitted the facility with solar panels. The city was able to invest more than $1 million on renovations and upgrades to the wastewater collection system, lift stations and treatment plant.
Where did Darien get the money? Joann Merrigan of WSAV tells us Stimulus Money Applauded by City of Darien, It Refurbished Plant:
The complete remodel of the facility, including the installation of the solar panels, was paid for with a grant from the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The upgrade cost close to one million, but most of that came in the form of stimulus money which the City of Darien doesn’t have to pay back. Joint Manger for McIntosh County/Darien Brett Cook says “it really was desperately needed from an operational standpoint. We were under a consent order from the Environmental Protective Division to make some upgrades to the plant, so we were looking at tremendous expense if we were not able to participate in this program. So it was a lifesaver. It came through just at the right time for the city of Darien.”
Advantages of solar?
“It’s probably saving us more than $400 a month in costs that solar power is going back to the Georgia grid, which we are selling back to Georgia Power, and we are selling it at a higher rate than we are paying and they just credit our bill,” said Frank Field, of the city of Darien.That’s SolarSmith of Savannah.
“That offsets the amount of energy the water treatment uses to do its processing also saves a great deal of water and pollution that would go into the air,” said Julian Smith, owner of SolarSmith.
What will be the next solar project in Valdosta or Lowndes County?
PS: This story owed to Claudia Musleve Collier.