Sandwich City Council Hears Solar Energy Presentation; Energy Broker Wants Solar Panels Behind Sanitary Plant

By: James Wyman –

A representative of Progressive Energy Group, an energy broker, told the Sandwich City Council at Monday night’s meeting that the city could save 20 to 30% on energy costs by installing a solar field behind the sanitary plant on the east side of Sandwich.

Progressive’s Arnie Schramel told the aldermen that there would be no capital investment by the City of Sandwich, since the city owns land behind the sanitary plant where the solar panels would be installed.

The city would have to dedicate that land to solar energy for 20 to 25 years; however Schramel says the State of Illinois is subsidizing the switch to green energy.

Schramel says that residential and commercial customers of Commonwealth Edison and Ameren are currently paying into a fund to subsidize the green energy.

He added that the incentives will pay for 60% of the solar field.

Alderman Les Redden is hesitant to give up the land behind the sanitary plant for 20 to 25 years, and he wondered how the solar energy would help Sandwich taxpayers.

Progressive Energy’s Schramel responded that the City of Sandwich could pass the savings on to taxpayers by saving 20 to 30% of the city’s energy.

Schramel wants to get approval from the Sandwich City Council in January and have the solar energy field in operation by the first quarter of 2019.