Wood County Executive Committee approves funding for Nepco Lake project
By City Times staff
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wood County Executive Committee approved the funding for a solar array at Nepco Lake, during their Oct. 1 meeting.
The proposal was originally brought forward by the Renewable & Sustainable Committee in September, but the project was kicked back to the Highway Infrastructure & Recreation Committee (HIRC).
“The HIRC committee approved it,” said Wood County Board Chair Doug Machon. “Then the Parks Director Chad Schooley was presented with two proposals by two installers on the array itself. He chose North Wind Renewable Energy.
“The proposal is for a photovoltaic system which would produce 8.3 kilowatts of energy. The estimated annual energy production from that array would be 9,934 kilowatt hours of electricity, which would be a 40 percent offset on our energy usage for (the Nepco Lake) shelter house now.”
The Nepco system will cost $24,300, but the county would receive a $2,916 Focus on Energy rebate and a $1,281 rebate from the Solar Central Wisconsin Group Buy program.
Payback on the solar project is approximately 15 years.
Machon said that the project will serve as a model for possible future solar development in the county.
“Hopefully, we can extrapolate the data from the Nepco Lake solar array and apply it to other buildings in the county. I think that is the plan from a lot of people; that’s what I am hearing,” Machon said, “that we could probably annually considerably reduce our expenditures for electricity in the county.
“The budgeted amount for electricity in the courthouse alone is $180,000 a year. If you take that 40 percent figure from Nepco Lake, if it bares itself out, you are talking upwards of $50,000 in one building.”
North Wind Renewable Energy is based out of Stevens Point and is a worker-owned cooperative.
Work on the project will begin in October.