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Photovoltaic solar panels to power Galesburg pumping station

Courtesy photo
Solential Energy

The city of Galesburg’s water department will use solar energy to supply power to its West Main Street Pumping Station.

Solential Energy will install photovoltaic solar panels on around 3.5 acres of city-owned land at 1094 W. Main St.

Then the company will sell the power to the city for 4.21 cents per kilowatt hour.

Currently the city pays 5.48 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity used at the pumping station.

That’s expected to save the city $773,289 over the 25-year agreement with Solential Energy approved by the city council, including savings of $28,743 in the first year.

“The numbers are even shocking to me,” said Mayor Peter Schwartzman. “We’re talking about buying electricity for 4.2 cents a kilowatt hour for the next 25 years. That’s unheard of in my opinion.”

Schwartzman said other lots in the community could be utilized in similar ways to save the city – and residents – money.

There are no upfront costs for the city. Solential Energy will pay $300 per acre to lease the land with a 1.5% annual increase.

The company is also responsible for maintenance and insurance on the solar array.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson is TSPR's regional reporter.