Answers to standing questions and a decision to advance an investment.  That was the result of a Finance Committee meeting in Superior in regards to whether or not the city should make an investment in the solar garden that Superior Water Light and Power has planned in the city.

While the planned solar garden will be located in Superior, the city has no direct ties to the capital investment in the facility.  They did plan on making an investment in the panels to reap the potential yield, though. That investment needs approval by the Superior City Council.

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Before the Council could vote on it, however, one Superior Councilor brought up questions about the potential (or lack thereof) for financial return.  The discussion centered around whether or not there would be a Return On Investment (ROI) for the city. Councilor Jack Sweeney took issue with the fact that he had asked specific questions about the solar garden and the investment but hadn't received answers "after he started inquiring a month and a half ago".

Now those questions have been answered.

According to an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], Councilor Sweeney - who is the Chairman of the Finance Committee - "finally had the opportunity to get questions answered about the company's varied electrical rates - including a historical perspective".  In addition, questions about quality of solar panel materials and the "company's [SWLP] responsibility in the 25-year contract" were answered.

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The move now heads to the Superior City Council for a vote. Under the terms of the proposal, the city would invest in "20 blocks" of the solar garden at a cost "not to exceed $65,000".  According to details shared by the Superior Telegram, estimated costs for those panels based off of current market rates would actually be $48,816, but "block rates won't be finalized until SWLP knows the cost for building the solar garden".

As far as returns go, the "annual estimated savings would be $3,322 for the next 25 years at current electrical rates or $83,050 over the life of the contract".  Those details being shared by city leaders and the Telegram show that the City of Superior could expect to "recoup its investment in the 15th year of the project and save $34,223 over the cost of its initial investment".

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