City of St. Cloud: Waste Water Treatment

Project Case Study
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Project Inspiration

After the City of St. Cloud pledged back in 2015 to take a more aggressive approach to sustainability, they decided their largest energy consumer, the City’s Waste Water Treatment Facility, would be a great place to start. They hoped their energy updates and solar panel installation at the Drinking Water Treatment Facility would jumpstart additional energy-saving initiatives and renewable energy projects for the city. They brought in Apex and Cedar Creek Energy to implement their goals.

Our Approach

Cedar Creek Energy performed a facility-wide energy audit to pinpoint energy saving opportunities within the Treatment Facility. After energy saving updates, such as LED lighting installation, were completed, Cedar Creek Energy engineered a solar energy system and installed photo voltaic solar modules.

This is divided into two separate arrays. The first is a 220kW AC ground mounted system within which is interspersed a special wild flower mix of pollinator-friendly native plants. The second is a 20 kW AC roof mounted system. The two systems combined generate an average of 328,000 kWh of power each year. On a sunny day, the solar garden produces adequate energy to power all daily plant operations.

The Final Result

 With the energy efficient updates and its new PV solar array, the Waste Water Treatment Facility will produce 655,903 kWh of renewable energy annually. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be reduced by 3,734 Metric Tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of over 550 homes’ electricity use for one year.

The city can expect an annual total cash savings of over $300,000. The solar energy system Cedar Creek Energy installed offers an astonishing ROI, with the City expecting a positive cash flow of over $8.3 million in 20 years.