Village of Marshall Goes Solar!/Sunny Portal

The Village of Marshall has become a little greener by using the sun to generate electricity at the Village's Waste Water Treatment Plant.  A Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System of three tracking arrays officially went online September 17, 2008.

Marshall Village President Nancy Lenz approached Steve Tweed of Wisconsin Power Control in November 2007 to investigate where it would be possible to use a solar electrical system on a village building or property.  The Waste Water Treatment Plant was selected as the first location.  A grant was written to apply for a program that local electrical utility WE Energies has for government and non-profit organizations.  In February 2008, the Village was notified that its grant application was approved.  A grant was awarded for the proposed project.

The new Solar PV System consists of three dual axis tracking pole mounted arrays, each with 12 Sharp 216 watt solar modules, for a total system size of 7,776 watts.  The dual axis trackers follow the sun each day and maximize the production of the solar modules.  All of the electricity produced by the system is separately metered by WE Energies so that the village can receive a premium of 22.5 cents per kilo-watt hour for the electricity produced by the solar system.  This production credit reduces the electrical bill for the Village treatment plant. The new solar system will produce approximately 12,600 kilowatt hours of energy annually.

The cost of the system has been offset by the We Energies grant and a Focus on Energy incentive award. Focus on Energy offers a $2.00 per kWh reward, which totaled $25,800 for this project. The We Energies grant award was $39,100, leaving the village with a cost equal to the We Energies Grant. The remaining cost to the village will be paid for in electricity value in approximately 13 years.

The community has access to a website that tracks the PV plants production over its lifetime. Anyone can look up the electrical production for that day, month, year, or entire life of the system. Along with the electrical details on the website the data monitoring also shows the current wind speed and temperature at the tracking site. A webcam is also part of the monitoring system.