Verde Solutions LLC, a full-service renewable energy development firm based in Chicago, is partnering with the Village of Minooka, Ill., for a solar array at the Minooka Wastewater Treatment Plant. This solar project will reduce the energy expenses for the village while saving more than 20,000 metric tons of carbon emissions over its lifespan.
To finance the system, the Village of Minooka is entering a power purchase agreement (PPA) and will buy power at a discounted rate compared to grid power.
“The municipal team and the Village of Minooka board saw that going solar was a great way to reduce expenses from the wastewater treatment facility,” says Christopher Gersch, founder and CEO of Verde Solutions. “The purchase power agreement structure allows communities like Minooka to show their commitment to sustainability and save money from day one of operation. Minooka was one of the first communities to take advantage of this great private-public partnership, but it will not be the last. Solar in Illinois for communities just makes sense.”
The Village of Minooka is a southwest suburb of Chicago and has over 11,000 residents. Its wastewater treatment plant is energy-intensive due to the need to move millions of gallons of water before it is safely released into the environment. The treatment plant is also a prime location for a solar system because of its adjacent vacant land and full sun. Verde Solutions, a community leader in sustainability, designed the solar project with an access path and landscaping buffer of native trees.
“The village board, president and staff at Minooka are dedicated to achieving a more energy-efficient footprint for the benefit of our residents and the environment we share,” says Barry Thompson, the Village of Minooka’s chairman of public works. “We began by replacing incandescent lighting in our buildings and streetlights with modern LED fixtures, reducing energy consumption and generating a substantial cost-savings. Looking ahead, adding solar technology will deliver an even more robust clean energy footprint, while further reducing costs for village residents.”
The Minooka solar project was made possible with collaboration between Verde Solutions, Fresh Coast Solar, BA Solutions and the Village of Minooka municipal team led by Ryan Anderson. Fresh Coast Solar plans to install the solar array in summer 2022.