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Georgetown, TX Rezones Former Landfill for Community Solar Project

Georgetown rezones land for community solar project

By Claire Osborn
Published: 9:43 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, 2012

A former Georgetown landfill will become the site of the city’s first community solar project.
The Georgetown City Council rezoned the landfill land Tuesday, changing it from a residential district to a public facilities district.
Solar panels to be placed on 18 acres at the site will produce up to 2 megawatts of power, enough power for about 550 homes, said Jim Briggs, assistant Georgetown city manager.
The solar power would provide enough energy for an estimated 3 percent of the customers of the Georgetown Utility Systems, said Kathy Ragsdale, director of conservation services for Georgetown.
The landfill lies between the San Gabriel Wastewater Treatment Plant and the San Gabriel River, Ragsdale said.
It was closed in the early 1990s, she said.
“The landfill has no trees, so it’s a perfect setting,” Ragsdale said.
Ragsdale said she doesn’t know how much the solar project will cost the city.
The city hopes to put out a request for bids on the panels this year, she said.
It takes about 10 acres to produce one megawatt of solar energy, Ragsdale said.
The solar project meets part of the Georgetown Utility Systems’ goal to have 30 percent of its energy come from renewable sources by 2030, Ragsdale said.
Residents have been asking for a solar power project because many homeowners in Georgetown cannot install it on their own houses, said Briggs.
The houses either face the wrong direction to receive the most sunlight or have trees shading the roof, he said.
The city hasn’t decided what kind of program it will use for interested customers who want to buy the solar energy, Ragsdale said.
“The most common program is that customers can buy a percentage of the generation from the solar plant,” she said.
Source: Statesman (http://www.statesman.com/news/local/georgetown-rezones-land-for-community-solar-project-2458355.html)

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