St. Cloud Producing Nearly Double the Energy it Consumes
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.