Eau Claire considers solar power for Fairfax Pool

Published: Jul. 26, 2016 at 9:33 PM CDT
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Taking a dip in the pool could get a little greener in the coming years. That's because Eau Claire’s Fairfax Pool could soon be getting all of its power from the sun.

The Eau Claire City Council is set to consider a proposal to invest $206,124 in solar energy to power the pool

Program & facilities supervisor Chad Duerkop says on an average year, the city spends $9,000 in electricity costs, with most of the costs racking up in May, June, July and August.

“We have pumps we have heaters, we have everything in the bath house that takes electricity,” Duerkop explained.

The city is exploring whether it should buy into a solar project proposed by Xcel Energy. That project is called the Xcel Skypark Solar Project. City finance director Jay Winzenz says the money used to buy into the renewable energy would come from leftover funds in the 2016 snow removal budget.

Winzenz says the solar initiative, if approved by the city council would give the city a realized savings of $20,000 per year in credit on utility bills.

He adds this project, if approved, could be just the beginning of more green energy around town.

“Other facilities that we have considered might be Carson Park and the library,” Winzenz added.

A decision tonight by the Eau Claire City Council was postponed because the council didn't have a two-thirds majority present. The city will take up the measure at its meeting on August 9th. If approved by the city council, the decision could mean solar power for the pool as soon as next year.