Solar Project in Wisconsin City Helps Lower Emissions

Published on: 20 July 2022
by KnowESG
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The City of Wauwatosa first established significant emissions reduction and sustainability targets more than a decade ago, and last year it put a solar energy system on the roof of its city hall complex, which is already producing substantial results.

The solar array was completed in the spring of 2021 and has produced 458-megawatt hours of renewable energy for the city, which is greater than fifty per cent of the site's total energy use during that period. In addition, 358 tonnes of carbon emissions have been reduced.

The renewable energy project encompasses the one-acre city hall complex in Wauwatosa, including the civic centre and public library. Arch Solar C&I of Wisconsin installed the 1,036-panel solar array with a 389-kilowatt SolarEdge platform.

A $40,000 subsidy from the Wisconsin Focus on Energy programme helped the city remain within budget for the solar installation. Arch says the system will save the city $40,000 annually in energy costs.

Local governments are quickly expanding their renewable energy schemes. Regina, Canada, intends to employ renewable energy to attain net zero by 2050, the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians will establish a microgrid, and Fort Brag, North Carolina, will receive a floating solar power plant.

Wauwatosa first set a goal to reduce emissions in 2010 to halve them by 2030, and by 2025, the city wants at least a quarter of its electricity to come from renewable sources. In addition, the city intends to attain carbon neutrality by 2050.

Wauwatosa selected the city hall solar project as a key step toward achieving its sustainability goals following the completion of smaller initiatives, including solar panel installation on a public garage in 2019. The site was chosen in part because of its size, but also because a flat rooftop was ideal for solar panels.

SolarEdge further claims that its technology offers architectural flexibility to accommodate the building's architecture and may be modified for enhanced environmental optimisation. For instance, according to SolarEdge, solar panels in Wisconsin should be installed at a steeper angle than the industry standard of 10 degrees, and the Wauwatosa system was installed at 20 degrees.

This helps maximise the amount of space utilised by the solar installation. The city has also developed a live dashboard so the public may monitor the amount of electricity generated.

Source: Environmental Leader

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