181002_PROTECT01

Downtown Edgerton

EDGERTON

A Nebraska energy company is conducting a feasibility study to find opportunities for renewable energy in Edgerton.

The study will analyze energy consumption data provided by the city and determine whether city facilities qualify for renewable-energy development, said City Administrator Ramona Flanigan.

Renewable energy includes solar and wind energy.

Bluestem Energy Solutions is a developer, owner and operator of low-carbon energy-generation facilities based in Omaha, Nebraska, according to a news release.

“Bluestem is working in many states across the country, and we have a good idea of which communities are situated for success when it comes to our business model,” Bluestem Energy consultant Jake Griggs said in the release. “Edgerton has a lot of positive attributes, which is why we are very fortunate to be partnering with the community on this project.”

The city has sent the company consumption data for the police station, wastewater treatment plant, wells and the library, Flanigan said.

The company will spend up to 10 months analyzing the data at no cost to the city. If the study shows Edgerton's facilities would benefit from renewable energy, the city and company will draw up an agreement for Bluestem to install energy-production facilities.

Bluestem would own the facilities and sell energy to the city, Flanigan said.

She said renewable energy could save taxpayers money on energy costs for municipal buildings while preserving the environment.

Installing renewable-energy facilities could help attract economic development, Flanigan said, because renewable energy is attractive to some business owners.

Flanigan said she hopes the city's investment will encourage other individuals and businesses to look into renewable-energy sources.

Edgerton's city hall has been powered by solar energy since it was built in 2010. The building has its own solar panels, and the city sells its excess energy back to the energy grid.

Since their installation, the solar panels have produced 138,469 kilowatt hours of energy, according to the city's Sunpower Monitoring System.

The panels have helped City Hall reduce its carbon emissions by 229,797 pounds of carbon—the equivalent of not driving a car 227,560 miles.

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