Rochelle's 312 kW Solar Photovoltaic Plant with 1240 panels is currently producing approximately 800 kwH per day. It covers 220 kW of the Water Treatment Plant's summer peak of 420 kW, about 45 % of summer months requirements in kwh's. The plant is 60% funded by a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation and was completed in less than six months from the time of the grant award.
Rochelle Municipal Utilities is unique in that it includes the grid capacity cost savings and the solar energy credits marketing in the Pennsylvania market into the business case. The payback period is 4.2 years. With the useful life of the plant being approximately 20 years, 15 years of free solar energy will result in a reduction the cost of producing clean water. The City of Galena & Rockford Water Departments are also utilizing Solar power. All components of the Plant were manufactured in the United States.
Our treatment plant operates mainly day hours, where Solar energy offsets the peak energy requirements of the Plant. This plant is strategically placed in a floodplain area which otherwise would not be used. Solar Photovoltaic plants work best in cool weather as the electrons can pick up the suns energy better than when it is hot.
To view the Solar Plant's energy production, click here.
RMU Solar in the News: