Village, utility ink deal on solar panels

Saukville to get $21,356 annually from We Energies
By 
DAN BENSON
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Village of Saukville has approved a 20-year lease with We Energies that will allow the company to erect 1,870 solar panels on 2.48 acres of village-owned land in the Dekora Woods Business Park.

Under the agreement, We Energies will pay the village $21,356 annually. 

The property is west of Dekora Woods Boulevard and south of Cold Springs Road. It includes an access easement from Dekora Woods Road.    

The array would generate 490 kilowatts of power, We Energies officials say.

The site originally chosen for the array was next to the village’s water treatment plant. But its location in a floodplain raised “liability issues,” a We Energies spokesman said, so another site was sought.

In August, a village ordinance was amended to allow solar panels to be erected on the business-park property. Construction of the project is expected to begin in the spring, a We Energies spokesperson said.

We Energies’ Solar Now, or Rent-a-Roof, program seeks to lease land or roof space from governments, schools or nonprofits, such as churches, and put solar panels on them.

It differs from traditional solar-power projects in which participants pay the significant cost of installing and maintaining panels on their buildings and receive energy credits in return.

The Solar Now program covers the cost of the equipment, installation and maintenance of solar systems. The owners of the building or land on which the solar panels are mounted receive rental payments but no credits for the energy, which goes on the grid.

In September, the Port Washington-Saukville School District reached an agreement with We Energies to install solar panels on the Port Washington High School roof for $8,717 a year.

The payment amount is based on the amount of energy produced by the array, We Energies officials said. The 750-panel Port High project will generate 200 kilowatts, less than half that of Saukville’s array.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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