Good story from the Fayetteville Flyer on the Fayetteville City Council’s unanimous approval last week of a 20-year project to install solar panels at the city’s two wastewater treatment facilities, part of a longterm aim for the city to run 100 percent on clean energy:

The solar panels will be used to completely power the Noland Wastewater Treatment Facility and the Westside Water Treatment Facility, which are the city’s two largest electricity-consuming accounts. Combined, the two plants make up about 67 percent of the overall electricity used by city-owned accounts.

Peter Nierengarten, the city’s sustainability director, said the system is projected to save the city $6 million in energy costs over the 20-year period, and will see a return on the investment in just over three years.

Earlier this year, the Council approved the Energy Action Plan, becoming the fifty-fourth city in the nation — and the first in Arkansas — to commit to 100 percent clean and renewable energy. Among the plan’s goals is to operate all city facilities with clean energy by 2030. The full draft plan for the city can be read here.

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The solar panel project for the wastewater facilities represents a major step forward in its goal, increasing clean energy consumption by city facilities from 16 percent to 72 percent, the Flyer reports.

Mayor Lioneld Jordan applauded the project:

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This year, the City Council showed great vision and leadership for their residents when they approved the Energy Action Plan in January 2018. Through this important agreement with Today’s Power and Ozarks Electric, the Fayetteville community moves closer to several goals in the plan. The approval of this solar power and storage project creates the renewable energy our community desires, uses existing city-owned assets more efficiently, adds jobs and promotes economic development.