Supervisors agree on solar-panel array

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 10, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Johnson County Board of Supervisors on Thursday agreed to move forward with a solar-panel bid from Moxie Solar.

In March 2013, a fire destroyed Johnson County’s Secondary Roads Facility, and now, the county is in the process of building. In an effort to reduce greenhouse gasses and to seek energy independent, the county plans to add an array of solar panels to its roof.

The supervisors said they chose Moxie not only for its “excellent track record” and “envelope-pushing technology,” but also because Moxie is located in North Liberty and would provide business and economic boosts directly back into the county.

“It’s predicted to reduce 129,000 tons of CO2 annually,” assistant planner Josh Busard said. “That’s equivalent to taking 16.1 homes off the grid or not using 273 barrels of oil.”

Moxi Solar is proposing a micro-inverter system, Busard said. Each solar panel will have its own 4-pound inverter, and the array will produce an estimated 180,838 kWh annually, more than enough to cover the facility’s 170,000 kWh needs.

Including labor and equipment, the array would cost $370,322 to buy outright, however the supervisors plan to enter into a power purchase agreement with Moxie Solar, which would enable the county to pay off the cost over a series of years as well as take advantage of tax credits that are not available to governments.

With this company, the county is estimated to save approximately $275,010 over 10 years.

— by Ben Marks

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