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Published: Wednesday, 8/10/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Solar field to be inaugurated in East Toledo

BLADE STAFF

The City of Toledo plans to inaugurate a new solar field at 2 p.m. Thursday that officials say will power as much as a quarter of the city's water treatment needs.

Situated on about 5 acres next to the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant on York Street in East Toledo, the solar field is expected to generate around 1 million kilowatt hours every year, equal to between 20 and 25 percent of the plant's electricity use, environmental services commissioner Tim Murphy said.

"It's a big deal for the city and the community," Mr. Murphy said. "There is a lot of electricity used to create drinking water and anything we can do to offset that with renewables is welcome."

The solar field took five months to build and cost just more than $5 million, Mr. Murphy said.

Close to half of the project was paid for through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the rest was paid for through Port Authority bonds and the private company IPS Energy Ventures.

IPS Energy Ventures, which contributed $1.9 million to the project, will own the solar field for 10 years.

After that time, ownership will pass to the city, Mr. Murphy said.

First Solar, whose only U.S. manufacturing plant is in Perrysburg Township, supplied the solar panels, the commissioner said.



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