As solar costs drop, water authority takes an interest

June 29, 2015

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Greater efficiency, lower prices, tax incentives and financing options make the technology more attractive.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Bethlehem Water & Sewer Resources is looking to solar power to reduce its carbon footprint at a water treatment plant, according to Mcall.com.

The facility treats up to 16 million gallons per day, noted the article. It plans to install solar equipment on three acres to cover 90 percent of the plant’s energy needs, which cost $75,000 to $85,000 annually.

The agency’s executive director, Steve Repasch, expects the project to yield modest savings and help the organization remain good stewards of the protected 23,000-acre Lehigh Watershed, stated the article.

Pennsylvania is 12th in the country in installed solar capacity, reported the article. Combined, the solar energy in the state can power 30,000 homes. The technology is increasing 20 percent every year for residential and nonresidential markets.

The authority’s interest is in part due to the decreasing cost of solar energy, shared the article. It has fallen 12 percent from 2014 and 45 percent from 2010. Fewer panels are required now since each panel can capture more energy.

Tax credits and financing options also make the equipment attractive, noted the article. The agency aims to pick a solar developer by Aug. 6.

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