Sun sets on Eau Claire solar idea for now - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Sun sets on Eau Claire solar idea for now

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - A solar farm being explored on Eau Claire's south side could have a cloudy future.

Last May, the city started studying whether it would be feasible to put a solar farm at the old Sky Park Landfill.  The 26-acre site isn't currently being used for anything other than dumping brush after storm cleanup.

Work on the study recently wrapped up.  It found the site could generate enough electricity to power 400 to 500 homes depending on the type of system used.  The total cost to develop a solar farm would fall between $11 million and $13 million.  Based on the amount of energy the site would produce, the payback price for the energy and the cost of the project, it could take 17 to 18 years to pay it off.

The city says at this time there are no plans to move forward with a project.  However, as the price of solar photovoltaic systems drop and they become more efficient, the city could revisit the idea down the road.  The city could also revive the proposal if a private partner would be interested in teaming up.

The study was paid for by the DNR using a $50,000 grant from the EPA.

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