ALTON - The City of Alton on Wednesday morning announced a new agreement with Ameresco, a leading clean tech integrator specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, to build a large solar array on land owned by the city.
Alton Mayor Brant Walker said at the gathering at the Alton Landfill on Alby Street across from Woodman Collision Center in Alton that the benefits of building a large solar array go beyond producing low-cost clean energy for the city and the region. Walker explained that the solar facility will be located on the old Alton Landfill located at the northwest corner of Alby Street and Industrial Drive.
Introduced at the meeting were members of the Alton Cool Cities Committee who have worked on this project and much more in recent months. The committee members present were Wayne Politsch, Deanna Barnes, David L. Boulds, Jeff Dale, Nixon Pendergrass, Randy Hausmann, Zeke Jabusch, Samantha Harvey and Sarah Fisher.
“This multi-million-dollar project will directly benefit the community economically,” Walker added. “Ameresco aims to use local labor to build and operate the array. In addition, the City of Alton will get fees for leasing the land and the array will produce additional tax revenue.”
“This area would be very difficult to use for any other purpose because it is an old landfill and there are significant restrictions on its use,” he said. “However, it has large flat areas with excellent sun exposure and there is considerable electrical infrastructure nearby.
“It is estimated that on a solar farm on the old landfill, it could possibly occupy more than 40 acres. At that size, it would generate an estimated average of over 20 million Watt-hours of clean, quiet, electrical energy per day and deliver that into the local power grid.
“A schedule for construction and the ultimate size of the solar array are yet to be determined. However, renewable energy incentives that are being considered in the Illinois State House could encourage the array to be built soon.”
Ameresco was selected to partner with the City of Alton as a result of a rigorous selection process on proposals submitted in response to a formal request for proposals issued in January 2020.