(Beaver Dam) There has been a change of plans with the installation of solar panels on city-owned buildings in Beaver Dam. The city recently installed solar panels on the municipal building. A plan to install a similar array of panel on the Watermark Community and Senior Center has been scrapped. Mayor Becky Glewen told us Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment that the roof on the Watermark was not able to safely handle the weight of the panels.
The $2.1-million-dollar Watermark was constructed in a metal frame building previously occupied by a former lumber company, and the old metal roof was apparently not one of the items that were upgraded when the structure was overhauled. Glewen says there had been a contingency plan in place in the event that the Watermark did not work. The solar panels will instead be installed on the roof of the Beaver Dam Police Department on Park Avenue. She says there will be no change in the cost of the project, even though the city is not footing the bill for the panels anyway.
The city received a state grant last year to research ways to save on energy costs. A part of that research lead to a plan that allowed the city to secure a $62-thousand-dollar solar project grant to place solar panels on two city buildings. While the state grant covers a small portion, the entire project cost was roughly $220-thousand dollars. The city was connected with private benefactors that helped cover those costs. Philanthropists can take advantage of federal tax credits by paying the up-front cost for the solar panels, or LED lights, which can help the city save on energy costs immediately.
The solar planes are expected to save the city $4000 in year one. If the panels are purchased at a reduced cost by the city in seven years – a total of $800-thousand dollars in savings will be realized over 25 years.
Watch Mayor Glewen on WBEV’s Community Comment here:
Listen to Mayor Glewen on WBEV’s Community Comment here: