Solar Park promises brighter days for DuQuoin's economy | News
DUQUOIN, IL (KFVS)-
The economy has seen some dark days in recent years, but city leaders are hoping the sun's warming rays will heat up DuQuoin's business base.
A field of 340 solar panels makes up DuQuoin's brand new solar park. As soon as it's up and running, leaders say it will power the promise of brighter days in the DuQuoin Industrial Park.
"This is a way to provide reduced electrical costs to our industrial occupants," said DuQuoin Finance Commissioner Rex Duncan. "This makes operation for these folks in our industrial park more profitable and productive."
The solar park will provide free power to businesses in the industrial park.
"It will produce 83 KW which is enough on average to power a super Wal-Mart," said Duncan.
The idea is that extra wattage produced by the sun will cut down on a businesses' Ameren bill by an estimated 20 percent.
"Every dollar counts," said MPP Group plant manager Donald Kautz. "Every penny counts if you can save one."
MPP group calls the DuQuoin Industrial Park home and Kautz says its power bills are pretty huge. That's because according to Kautz at least 70 percent of what they do at MPP requires electric.
Kautz says he's pretty excited about potentially cutting costs by paying less for power and the possibility of soon having neighbors.
"We need more businesses in this area. Right now we're the only ones in the industrial park," said Kautz.
That's the bottom line. City leaders hope the solar park will shine a light on DuQuoin as a cost-effective place to do business.
"I think this along with other activities we have going in our community to improve the business climate are going to pay off in the long run for us, and we're excited about it," Duncan said.
Construction on the solar park is expected to be completed by the end of the January. The city paid just $135,000 of the total $565,000 price tag. The rest was paid for by grants and stimulus dollars.
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