The Metropilitan Council of the Twin Cities’ waste water treatment plant now enjoys solar electricity generated by two solar power systems developed by SunEdison and Oak Leaf Energy Partners. The totaling 1,280kWac systems were financed and built by SunEdison.
The construction of the solar systems was funded in part by a $2 million grant from the Xcel Energy Renewable Development Fund. The fund is designed to sponsor projects that improve the environment, increase renewable energy use and create jobs. The grant supports a 1,000 kW solar system for the liquid treatment facility of the plant and another 280 kW solar system for the on-site sludge drying facility, bringing the total installed solar capacity at the wastewater treatment plant to 1,280 kW.
"The project developed by Oak Leaf and SunEdison will bring clean, renewable energy to our wastewater treatment plant while creating jobs, increasing the tax base, and promoting a more livable environment,” commented Adam Duininck, Metropolitan Council chair.”
The solar power systems are expected to generate enough clean energy each year to power 10% of the wastewater treatment plant's annual electricity needs. This is the equivalent to powering more than 127 homes and avoids the emission of three million pounds of carbon dioxide, the same amount of carbon sequestered by more than 1,100 acres of U.S. forest.