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Down in the southernmost tip of Indiana is the City of Huntingburg. At last count, its population was just under 6,400. But Huntingburg is no ordinary small town. Recognized for its quaint antique stores and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, the city has served as a location for a number of Hollywood movies, including A League of Their Own with Madonna. It’s also home to an aging wastewater treatment facility that saw its last upgrade in 1995. And in 2020, energy costs were more than this community could manage.
Like many small towns with aging wastewater infrastructure, the City of Huntingburg faced a trio of issues which seemed to have no easy answers. At the top of the list: energy. Treating wastewater requires a tremendous amount of energy. It’s estimated that the filtering process consumes up to 15% of America’s electrical power every year. These issues seemed insurmountable.
Huntingburg decided to offset its energy use with solar energy, something an increasing number of municipal and privately owned water treatment facilities are doing across the United States. The reason was simple: solar-generated electricity can reduce a plant’s energy bill by as much as 50%, saving thousands of dollars a year.
In late 2019, Energy, Solential Energy was awarded the contract to design, build, and manage Huntingburg’s wastewater treatment facility solar array. The project includes 640 photovoltaic ground-mounted panels on acreage adjacent to the plant that generate 278.4 kilowatts DC of electricity a year. Solential broke ground in early 2021 and the installation of solar panels and converters began soon after. The city’s solar array was officially commissioned and began generating clean, renewable solar power in summer 2021.
Like all Solential solar solutions, Huntingburg’s included Solential’s patented Cloud-based remote management system called Solview. Accessible 24/7 with any smart device, Solview enables the city to track energy production, usage, peak and off hours. Solential also monitors the system with Solview for predictive maintenance, troubleshooting, and rapid response times should there be an issue. Today, the city of Huntingburg enjoys: