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Hamilton uses the sun to treat wastewater

Posted at 3:05 PM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 19:00:17-04

HAMILTON – The City of Hamilton is looking skyward for some help to treat its wastewater, firing up a new solar power array to help defray its electricity costs.

The city has just completed the installation of a new solar power installation at the wastewater treatment plant on the west side of town.

A cooperative venture using a grant from NorthWestern Energy has the solar panels using space on the facilities composting building.

The panels represent one of the larger installations NorthWestern has undertaken with the grant program, which is offered especially to government partners to help defer power costs.

Hamilton leaders are projecting sizable savings, given the fact that the wastewater plant is one of the largest consumers of power in the city’s operations.

“We use about a hundred thousand dollars worth of electricity per year. We run about 150 horsepower worth of pumps 24-hours a day, 365-days a year. So any offset we can have towards the power bill is a help to the rates for the sewer system,” Hamilton Public Works Director Donny Ramer said.

The cost of the solar technology has dropped enough that the city will be able to defray its costs associated with the installation in a much shorter time than was possible in the past.