Jan 31, 2018

Georgia Wastewater Treatment Plant May Shift to Solar Energy

Athens, Ga., facility considering installation of solar panels

Athens, Ga., water treatment plant considering installation of solar panels

The Cedar Creek Water Reclamation Facility in Athens, Ga., has begun considering the switch over to solar power to provide energy for the treatment plant. The installation of solar panels for energy use could offset 43% of the energy currently used by the plant.

Whether or not the panels are installed depends upon the approval or denial of $1 million for the project to be decided by the Athens-Clarke County Commission. However, due to new federal tariffs on imported solar energy equipment imposed by the current administration, the funding for the project may be steeper than the current estimated price tag.

According to Andrew Saunders, Athens-Clarke County’s sustainability coordinator, the scale of the solar project for the treatment facility may have to be scaled down to accommodate the price of new tariffs put in place.

Cedar Creek wastewater plant uses roughly 2.7 gigawatts (GW) of electricity every year, and the potential solar array would produce nearly half this amount in energy annually, contributing roughly 1.2 GW.

The Athens-Clarke County government would be allotted more than 10 times its current solar capability if the planned installation is accepted and moves forward.