Bright Idea: La Feria utility plants harness solar energy

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Residents here probably won't notice that their water and sewage treatment systems will soon be powered by fields of solar panels but a project to convert the plants is nearing completion.

Using solar power will offset much of the cost of operating the two plants, City Manager Sunny Philip said. The city is expecting to save about $140,000 each year in electricity costs for its utility plants.

At the sewage treatment plant on South Rabb Road, there are 1,148 solar panels that produce 230 watts each, for a total of about 296 kilowatts, said Alex Petrovich of Meridian Solar, an Austin company constructing the two solar systems.
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