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    Renewable Energy

     

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    City of Grand Rapids Renewable Energy Projects

    Water Facility Building Solar Photovoltaic System
    The City of Grand Rapids was given the opportunity for a Photovoltaic System in July of 2010 when the United States Department of Energy awarded the City a Congressionally Directed Project Grant. This grant would provide funding, on a dollar for dollar basis, up to a $250,000 limit.
    Prior to locating the project at the Water/environmental facility building , 11 City owned facilities were reviewed to establish the best fit for the project. The Water/Environmental Facility offered the best exposure to the sun, the best supporting infrastructure and best opportunity for electrical savings.
    The completed system includes 3 arrays each with 13 strings of 11 panels, a total of 429 panels, and each panel able to provide a maximum 285 watts creating a maximum output of 122625 watts direct current (DC) power per hour. This power is fed into an inverter serviced by “Solectria Renewables” which converts the DC power to AC with a maximum output of 95 kWh. From the inverter, the power is fed through the Consumers Energy owned “net meter” into the building transformer.  The inverter also utilizes sensors to capture data associated with the operation of collection and transfer of the power. This data is sent through an internal modem to the manufacture, Solectria Renewables, which makes data available on a website for each location:
    Geothermal Fire Stations

    Two Geothermal (HVAC) Systems were installed at two fire stations within the City of Grand Rapids. These systems pump fluid deep into the ground to capture heat and redistribute it through the building. It works the opposite way in the summer to remove heat from the building. The geothermal projects initially cost the City $274,000. However, geothermal heating reduces energy costs and the project will pay itself off after 7.5 years of instillation.

     Butterworth Landfill Solar Project 

    The 120-acre Butterworth  Landfill Superfund site is located along the Grand River in west-central Michigan. From 1950 until 1973, the landfill was an open dump and a sanitary landfill. It received municipal, solid and industrial wastes, including plating wastes, paint wastes and organic solvents. Its operations led to ground water and soil contamination. Cleanup began in 1990 with the removal of waste drums and soil. The Site’s remedy also included a landfill cover and ground water monitoring, which is ongoing. With the help of a $30,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant for engineering services, the City of Grand Rapids hired a consultant to help determine the feasibility of a large scale solar project at the old Butterworth Landfill site. To read the Solar Reuse Assessment, click here.


     

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