A PENNY SAVED — Madison County is adding a solar array to its Agriculture and Renewable Energy Park that will save the county an estimated $150,000 per year on its energy expenses, officials said. Construction is planned to be completed by mid-July. (Photo submitted)

Madison County foresees big savings with solar array at Energy Park

Published Jun 19, 2017 at 4:00pm

TOWN OF LINCOLN — Madison County is anticipating an annual savings of $150,000 to its energy costs when a solar array is completed at its landfill along Buyea Road.

The array will cover 12 acres and consist of 7,752 individual solar panels and will be located in the county’s Agriculture and Renewable Energy Park.

It will produce 2,890,500 kilowatt hours of energy which will be deleted from the energy used by the county’s office complex, according to local officials.

Madison County Planning Department Director Scott Ingmire anticipates the project will be completed by mid-July.

At that time the array will be energized and connected to the county power grid, Ingmire added.

“When we started this project, we anticipated it would cover about 60 percent of the county’s energy needs,” Ingmire said.

“However, due to conservation measures and energy efficiency upgrades overseen by county maintenance and the Board of Supervisors we now anticipate it will cover approximately 73 percent of the county campus’ energy needs.”

County planners had been considering the project since 2013, and it was finally realized after the county agreed to a power purchase agreement, Ingmire said.

The county will not own the array, but it has agreed to buy all energy produced by the array for a 25-year period.

The array is being developed by RER Energy Group, and New Energy Equity and AEP OnSite Partners will be the long-term owners of the array.