Aqua America Finishes 4th Solar Farm
Aqua America is making giant strides in the solar electricity business. After completing a fourth solar installation to power as many water treatment plants, the sky is the limit.
CFO David P. Smeltzer is enthusiastic about his company’s achievements. Electrical consumption is as expensive as manpower for Aqua America, and this is a natural fit for the company.
The latest project is a 1.5 megawatt solar farm stationed by Aqua’s water treatment facility in Chester County. Estimates state that the farm will reduce the company’s field grid usage by over 2 million kW. This will net the company a quarter million dollars annually in savings. Not bad for a company that started building its first solar farm in 2009. The first plant has reduced grid usage over 1 million kW during the past year.
While not all the farms are quite as profitable, every little bit helps. Aqua’s New Jersey farms have eliminated the need for 940 barrels of oil yearly. The savings to the company are matched by the benefits to the environment. Aqua Pennsylvania can proudly say it is one of the largest solar energy producers in the state, and the largest water utility producer using solar energy.
While producing their own energy for the grid, Auqa is able to negotiate better energy rates by buying power at night, when demand is lower. Power which is not used by the company is sold back to the grid for a premium during peak hours. The savings are passed on to the customers. Aqua has also affirmed its commitment to the environment by helping reduce emissions.