ST. CLOUD -- Renewable energy has St. Cloud producing more power than it consumes, to the tune of some 40-million kilowatt hours.

The city uses about 30-million kilowatt hours worth of energy across city buildings while producing 70-million worth from various renewable energy products.

Patrick Shea is St. Cloud's Public Services Director. He says solar energy projects are spreading through the city, and that's helping in a big way.

"The building uses the energy created from the array. So we have a solar system installed on the police station and fire station two."

Other city buildings with solar arrays on them include the waste-water treatment facility near Hester Park, and the city is building one at the central maintenance facility.

Shea adds the city is currently starting up a program to make some money off the waste produced by it. The Nutrient Recovery Project is very cutting edge, and part of the city's biofuel efforts at the waste-water plant.

"It extracts out as a mineral, the phosphorus. And we'll get anywhere from 80 - 100 tons of pelletized phosphorous, and we have a public-private partnership with a supplier who will buy it from us."

The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority just approved a $16.7-million loan for the city to perform the required upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant.

The hydro-electric dam produces the majority of the city's energy, with the solar and biogas projects making up the rest of the 40-million kilowatt surplus.

The city spends about $2.8-million a year in electricity.

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