And city doesn't even have to pay for the solar panels
PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The city of Prineville is working to cut costs at its wastewater treatment plant, by turning to the sun.
The city is putting in solar panels at the facility to cut its power bill and keep fees down.
The city has an agreement to utilize seven acres of land at the treatment site to place the solar panels.
City Engineer Eric Klann said Tuesday evening the city pays around $200,000 a year in power bills at the plant.
The goal of the solar panels will be to cut that bill in half in the coming years.
"We've done a very good job of trying to keep our costs down. We've got some wonderful projects in our water fund with our aquifer storage and recovery," Klann said.
"We have our wastewater wetlands that have helped us reduce costs. It's just little projects like these that allow us to deliver these services as inexpensively as possible."
Klann added that the idea is to make sure that costs are able to stay low even as the city grows, and demand for the wastewater treatment plant grows as well.
And the city isn't even having to pay for the solar panels.
Klann said a company is installing the panels at no cost to the city. Westlake Solar Panels will house them at the facility for the next 20 years.
"This is a wonderful situation, where we have a company installing the solar panels at no cost to us," Klann said. "We are able to purchase that power at a very discounted rate, as compared to the utility rates, and it's really just a win-win."
Klann said the city already has utilized solar power at various city buildings, to great success.
He said the plan is to start construction on the solar project in the spring, and if all goes well, the panels will be up and running by the time summer rolls around.