DANVILLE — Except for mainly some landscaping work still to be completed, Aqua Illinois’ solar farm is now operational.
“We’re actually online,” said Aqua Illinois Area Manager Andy Price.
The 8,000 solar panel farm has been online since the first full week in July.
Price recently said about 10 percent of the fencing was to be completed, and cleaning up of the landscaping is needed too, to include plants and shrubs.
He said they hit their summer deadline, and “we’re excited.”
Work started in late December with tree removals for the project.
GenPro Energy Solutions of Piedmont, S.D., with local contractors that were used for land clearing, fencing, landscaping and other portions of the project, worked on the project with labor and onsite supervision.
Aqua will be purchasing electricity from solar farm developer Sol Systems of Washington, D.C., with the project. By doing so, Aqua expects to save about $100,000 a year or have about $4 million in energy savings during the next 25 years.
All electricity from the fixed solar panels will be going straight to the water treatment plant.
“It basically will run our plant,” Price said. “It’s a great project for us and our rate payers.”
The panels are on approximately nine acres of land north of Aqua’s water treatment plant, off Logan Avenue and Fairchild Street.
The Danville City Council in March 2020 reversed its initial denial, from 2019, of the 1.6 megawatt AC project after some changes were made to better protect neighbors off Logan Avenue and Westwood Place.
Project changes included: setback increased to 200 feet of the wooded buffer to residential neighbors, 10 foot of additional vegetative buffer, fixed solar panels tilted south and a 10 foot tall privacy fence behind the vegetative buffer.
Price said they’re planning a ribbon-cutting event on the project.