Solar Field At Fox Metro Sewer Plant Now Operational

April 27, 2021 / Ethan Kruger / WSPY NEWS

A crowd gathered at the new solar field near the Fox Metro Water Reclamation Plant in Montgomery Saturday for a ribbon cutting and ceremonial powering on of the field. The solar array will help power Fox Metro’s facility and reduce its power costs. It’s located just north Fox Metro off Route 30 and Route 31.

Congressman Bill Foster spoke at the event on Saturday. He says the project is part of the Biden Administration’s goal of significantly cutting carbon emissions.

The site produces 2.6 megawatts of solar power, or enough to power around 450 homes. Chris Childress is on the Fox Metro Board and works with Progressive Energy which acted as a consultant on the project. Childress says Progressive was not compensated for its work on the Fox Metro solar field. He says funding for the $5-million installation comes from federal and state sources along with funding from ComEd ratepayers.

Childress says the solar array will save Fox Metro around $160,000 in power costs each year. The panels have around a 25-year life span. According to Childress, on Saturday, which was cloudy, the field was still generating at around 30 percent of its capacity.

Fox Metro Executive Director Tom Muth says he’ll be on the lookout for ways to expand on the plant’s use of green energy.

The solar panels are maintained by the company that installed them, GRNE Solar. The panels are built to reposition themselves to get the most exposure from the sun throughout the day. The solar array is built on a former superfund site, that was purchased by Fox Metro for possible future expansion.

The solar array is one of four that have opened in the area. Other sites are in Plano, at the Kendall County government complex, and at Mooseheart.