Questions Arise Over City Of Superior’s Investment In Solar Garden Development
Not so fast. A proposal that would see the City of Superior make a significant investment in the solar garden being developed by Superior Water Light and Power has hit a red light. One member of the City Council is questioning what the value to the city would be - when it appears that the cost savings from the investment wouldn't exceed the initial financial outlay over the term of the agreement.
As the proposed investment nears a final vote, one member of the Superior City Council has started asking questions. According to an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], Councilor Jack Sweeney still hasn't received any answers - after he started inquiring a month and a half ago.
Sweeney's main question is this: "If the city is investing up to $65,000 to buy into Superior Water Light and Power's community soar garden, how is it the city would only save about $34,000 dollars?" The Councilor started asking questions when the proposal first came before the Superior City Council - "without being vetted by any of its standing committees".
Any way you look at it, if the proposed investment comes to fruition, the City of Superior would be one of the major subscribers to the available solar panels:
"The plan calls for (the) City (of Superior) to subscribe to 20 blocks in the solar garden at an estimated cost of $48,816 capped at a maximum amount of $65,000, which would save the city about $3,322 annually based on current electric rates, according to documents submitted to the City Council."
As detailed on the webpage for the community solar garden, customers would enter into an agreement with Superior Water Light and Power with costs "fixed over the 25-year life of the program".
For now, the proposed agreement has been pushed back to the Finance Committee for "additional vetting" prior to going back to the full City Council for a vote.
Regardless of what transpires between the City of Superior and Superior Water Light and Power over a purchase agreement for space in the garden, the development will transpire. SWLP plans to build its 470-kilowatt solar garden at the corner of Hammond Avenue and 28th Street - off to the side of the existing Heritage Park. According to information on their website, the utility plans on having the solar garden on the grid at some point in 2022.