Local company to build largest solar project in area

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FALL CREEK, Wis. (WEAU)-- After 2 years of planning, a local energy company is one step closer to making their dream a reality.

5 acres of land, made up of close to 3,000 solar panels. Eau Claire Energy Cooperative announced this week that it would be partnering with Able Energy Co. to bring the largest solar field project to the area.

“We've been watching the trend in solar power as the price of it is coming down dramatically over the last several years and we were looking at how we could harness that trend and make it a win for our members and the cooperative,” says Lynn Thompson, CEO of Eau Claire Energy Cooperative.

Thompson says the solar field will be made up of thousands of panels, each at 305 watts.

“Each 305 watt panel will then be available for subscription by our members. The subscription will be for 20 years,” says Thompson.

Each subscription share will cost roughly $650 and will return $840 in energy over the next 20 years.

“The value of the energy, each month as the solar array produces energy, will be credited to the member’s bill the same way as if they would have purchased the benefit would be they have to pay for less,” says Thompson.

Thompson says the company has already gotten a positive response from community members.

“I think it's a great idea. It's an energy source that's abundant. It's pretty carbon neutral. It wouldn't be bad for the environment at all,” says Trenton Piltz of Eau Claire.

“It would probably save a lot of money. It would pay off in the long run,” says Eric Braunreiter of Eau Claire.

“This is a local example of renewable energy. It's not some distant wind farm that we drive by when we go out west, it's happening right here in our community,” says Thompson.

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