On April 22, Earth Day, the Pettis County Commissioner’s Office unveiled plans for the installation of three 25kw solar energy units which will allow the County of Pettis to move forward with clean, renewable energy.
Over the past two years, the commissioner’s office has implemented cost saving measures at the Pettis County Courthouse and this is the next step in their endeavors.
These cost saving measures have saved the county $250,000 over the past two years.
Pettis County Presiding Commissioner John Meehan addressed those in attendance and ran down the specifics of the solar energy project.
Meehan spoke of Pettis County businesses that are currently using some form of solar energy.
They include Ditzfeld Transfer, Interstate Studios, Bryant Motors, Western Extralite Co., and Yeager’s Cycle.
A volunteer committee was formed to look into the feasibility of the project. This committee met with several companies who offer solar options.
The committee studied the electrical demands of the county and they also evaluated all options and chose those most beneficial to the county.
The commission accepted the committee’s recommendation to install three 25kw systems.
After the project is completed there will be a system on the roof of the Pettis County Courthouse and two on the roof of the jail, which will supply power to the jail and the Public Safety Building.
There will be a public access viewing station installed on the first floor of the courthouse.
The systems will also be able to be viewed by the county via a remote internet monitor.
MC Power Companies was the company selected by the commission to install the systems. MC Power Companies will be working directly with State Fair Community College students on the project.
SFCC currently has a renewable energy program in place and this would be an invaluable learning experience for the students.
MC Power Companies have been doing business since 2002, and they have a wealth of knowledge and experience to complete the project.
Power Company KCP&L will offer rebates totaling $150,000, or $50,000 per unit, for the installation of the units.
The total cost for the project is set at $191,023. The rebates will offset a substantial portion of this cost.
The final cost to the county will be $41,023.
At current utility rates the county expects to save around seven thousand dollars a year in electrical costs.
The system is rated with a 25-year life span, and over the course of that time the county expects to save $273,450 after figuring in the rise in costs of utilities over those 25 years.
Meehan informed those in attendance that by using the solar units, Pettis County’s carbon footprint will be reduced by 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the life of the system.
That is equivalent to planting 46,500 trees, driving four million fewer miles or by recycling 6,300 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.
The solar units will be using tempered glass that is made to with stand hail with a one inch diameter. The glass does not yellow over time like plastics, which will allow more, efficient solar energy intake.
MC Power Companies Account Manager Ryan Edwards spoke of the project time from start to finish.
“From start to finish, it is supposed to last right at 12 weeks. Right now we are working with KCP&L to speed up that process,” Edwards said. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.