North Vernon seeing benefits of switching to solar power

The city of North Vernon is seeing benefits from its project to convert all city-owned facilities to solar power. Kurt Schneider, partner at Johnson-Melloh Solutions, is crediting city leaders for their vision in recognizing that the reward for such a project outweighed the risk.

Schneider gave an update on the project during this week’s city council meeting. He brought along tangible evidence of the project’s benefit. That included recent Duke Energy bills for both the wastewater treatment plant and street lights. Schneider says that both accounts were being billed thousands of dollars each month prior to the switch-over. Now, each have a credit from the utility company: $7,787 for the wastewater treatment plant and $22,102 for street lights.

Schneider told council that the outlook is only brighter. North Vernon financed the project so that it wouldn’t have to make bond payments until next year. According to Johnson-Melloh, by the time the first payment of $31,864 is due, the city will have a projected reserve of more than $625,000.

Schneider says the project is nearly complete. He explained that there have been some delays due to problems on Duke’s end, but he expects the installation work will be finished within a few months.