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Prineville going solar to cut wastewater treatment plant costs

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.

Central Oregon / Environment / Top Stories

Jacob Larsen

Jacob Larsen is a reporter and weather anchor for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jacob here.



  1. As for my comments on the story- let’s just say- ‘interesting” !

    “Klann said the city already has utilized solar power at various city buildings, to great success.”

    OK- just what does Klann mean by “great success” ?

    Anybody who has had to listen to the Lars Larson Show while traveling in and around Oregon/Washington know that he is a clear opponent of “most” things solar… claiming that the sysyetms are actually down almost 70% of the time due to cloudy weather- maintenance- sun angles.

    So what kind of actual “great successes” are we seeing in Prineville ?

      1. “The future” ??? Try right now !

        “Coal exports increased 61 percent in 2017, and continued to rise in 2018. The increased demand for U.S. coal exports, mostly in Asia and Europe, has been caused by growing electricity demand in India, more demand for coal as a replacement for nuclear in South Korea and Japan, and disruptions in coal supply from Australia and Indonesia, among other factors.”

        Booooom ! There he goes- back on the floor again !!!

  2. A question for Bob Shaw from this morning’s weather forecast- I noticed that the weather panel for Roberts Field stated that “visibility” is at 10 miles.

    OK- I am 50 miles from Bend due east- but can see the city lights before the sun comes up- by 8:00 a.m.- I can see all of the Cascade Mountains- another 60 miles or so away from Bend… How does Bob read the visibility to be just 10 miles ?

    1. Although AWOS technically differentiates between “10” and “10+” miles, according to Wikipedia, any time you see “Visibility: 10 miles” you should assume that means “Visibility: at least 10 miles”.

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