Altoona votes to purchase solar panels

By  | 
View Map

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)-- Altoona makes a big investment in renewable energy Tuesday night as city leaders vote to spend just shy of $300,000 to use the power of the sun to save taxpayers money.

Altoona’s City Council moved to purchase more than 450 solar panels through Eau Claire Energy Cooperatives Member Solar program.

The city says the investment will help power everything from city water pumps to stop lights on the city's south and east sides.

“The solar panel program locks you into a current rate for 20 years. So what we are doing is investing $299,000 but we think that will be fully amortized at the end of 15 years so the last 5 years we will realize savings by being locked into that rate,” Altoona City Administrator Mike Golat explained.

While Golat couldn’t put an exact dollar amount to the savings he says the move will provide tax payers and the city a good return for the investment.

“It puts our money where our mouth is to provide our commitment to green energy and also it's a commitment for the tax payers because the return we do get on the investment at the end of 15 years,” he added.

The City of Altoona purchased enough solar panels through the program to power 75% of the city’s energy usage on the city's south and east sides.

The CEO of Eau Claire Energy Co-Op, Lynn Thompson, says that's a big statement on the part of the City of Altoona.

“I think the statement that the City of Altoona is making is they support local green initiatives and this is a very sustainable energy source for them,” Thompson said.

Thompson says to date; Altoona is the largest municipality in the Chippewa Valley to buy into the cooperatives solar program. He did add that so far the Town of Wilson, the City of Eau Claire and Eau Claire County have bought into the solar program but on a much smaller scale in comparison to the City of Altoona.

The comment sections of our web set are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from the viewers but we are not obligated to post comments we feel inappropriate or violate our guidelines. Here are some of the criteria you should follow when posting comments:

Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. Children and families visit this site. We will delete comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.

We will delete all comments using hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our web site.

Comments should not attack other readers personally.

We will delete comments we deem offensive, in bad taste, or out of bounds. We are not obligated to post comments that are rude or insensitive.

We do not edit user-submitted comments.

As a host WEAU 13 News welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However, we have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason WEAU 13 News reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus