City of St. Cloud: Drinking Water Treatment

Project Case Study
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MWh Annually

lbs co2 Emissions saved/Year

kW DC

Equivalent Trees Planted

Project Inspiration

The City of St. Cloud pledged to prioritize sustainability back in 2015. Since then, the City has completed several projects with Cedar Creek Energy: the Waste Water Treatment Facility, maintenance building, library, aquatics center, and fire station, to name a few. The City’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. MPR News wrote a great article covering the City of St. Cloud’s pledge to be 80 percent renewable energy by 2018. The Water Treatment Center is another building phased into the city’s goals to become significantly more sustainable. For many cities, drinking water treatment plants are one of the biggest energy drains; St. Cloud is no exception. Government officials hoped that utilizing solar energy at the plant would offset these energy needs through the use of renewable energy.

Our Approach

Prior to the design of the solar energy system, Cedar Creek Energy performed an energy audit at the Water Treatment Center to highlight energy-saving opportunities. After the audit had been completed, Cedar Creek Energy began the design of a custom solar energy system and later installed the photovoltaic solar modules. The solar array at the Water Treatment Center now consists of a 234 kW DC and 200 kW AC energy system.

  • 234 kW DC and 200 kW AC
  • Produces around 200 MWh a year
  • CO2 emissions saved: 613,037 lbs so far
  • Equivalent trees planted: 15,440  so far

The Final Result

The installation at the Water Treatment Center has helped The City of St. Cloud reach its goal of becoming powered by at least 80% renewable energy. This is an astonishing increase from the city’s 5% renewable energy utilization in 2015.

The City of St. Cloud was largely interested in renewable energy because of the environmental benefits. The Water Treatment Center’s PV solar system has followed through on its promise of sustainability by saving 613,037 pounds in CO2 emissions to date. This is the equivalent of 15,440 trees being planted.

Client Feedback

“In all likelihood, we’ll be 80 percent renewable energy by 2018. I don’t know another municipality of this size in the state that’s at that level.”

-Patrick Shea, St. Cloud’s public services director