City of Fayetteville transfers wastewater facilities to solar power - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 16, 2019

City of Fayetteville transitions wastewater facilities to solar power

Through an agreement with a local renewable energy company, the city of Fayetteville, Ark., will begin to power two wastewater treatment plants by solar energy, expected to increase the city’s clean energy consumption from 16% to 72%.

The land that houses the city’s wastewater treatment plants is home to 87 acres that encompass three farms and two battery storage facilities, which the city will lease to Today’s Power Inc.

As part of the agreement, Today’s Power will build for a capacity of 5 MW of solar panels and 12 MW hours of battery storage at each wastewater facility and will assume the cost of operating and maintaining the facilities.

The city will own 1% off the solar array and will purchase the electricity generated at the facility at a rate that will be $0.0033 less per kilowatt-hours. The agreement also states that the city will use its water and sewer reserve fund to assume the cost of making electric improvements to both sites in order to connect the arrays to the power grid.

The city of Fayetteville expects the solar system to produce 10 MW of electricity and 24 MWh of energy storage and save the city approximately $180,000 annually.

Peter Nierengarten, sustainability director of the city of Fayetteville, told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette that the wastewater treatment plants will use the energy generated from the solar panels, and the unused energy will go into storage, allowing the plants to draw from the storage units when sunlight is low. He added that the rate the city will pay to Today's Power is slightly lower than what it paid to Ozarks Electric.

Fayetteville adopted an energy action plan last year that set forth a number of policy initiatives, including having the city's governmental operations run completely on clean energy by 2030 and for the entire city to run on clean energy by 2050, the newspaper reported.

Nearby, Clarksville operates one solar farm, built in 2017, and is in the process of building a 9.3 MW system to power the city’s municipal buildings.

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