Local Government

Civic center working on rooftop solar project

Plans to install solar panels on the roof of the Oakley-Lindsay Center continue, and the work could start as early as this year.
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 19, 2019 12:01 am

QUINCY -- Plans to install solar panels on the roof of the Oakley-Lindsay Center continue, and the work could start as early as this year.

The Quincy Civic Center Authority approved a letter of intent with Indiana-based Midwest Wind and Solar in July with the goal of saving money on electric costs at the facility.

OLC Executive Director Rob Ebbing told authority members Wednesday that the firm is working with investors in the project.

Ebbing said because of incentives from the federal government and Ameren Illinois, the firm seeks an investor for the solar panel installation.

"We agree to buy the electric from that individual that it produces, and they receive all the tax credits and benefits for their investment," he said.

"We receive our electric at a reduced rate from what we're currently paying."

Projections show that facility's electric bill will drop about 20 percent, and it wouldn't hit the rate its currently paying for 20 years. Budget documents show the Civic Center Authority budgets $102,000 annually for utilities.

"It's very advantageous for us, and all we're giving up is roof space," Ebbing said.

The OLC has four metered sections, and it's believed that enough power can be generated for the two largest meters, and any excess generated would be flow back to Ameren with a credit provided to the facility's electric bill.

"We've been meeting with (Midwest Wind and Solar's) electrical engineers who have come in and analyzed our building and how everything is going to roll over," Ebbing said.

In other business, members learned that the Illinois Licensed Beverage Association will hold its statewide convention in Quincy in 2021. The annual meeting sees around 200 people for three days.

Ebbing also said with the turnout for the Battle of the Bags cornhole tournament last month benefitting the Quincy Bay Area Restoration and Enhancement Association, staff is looking at establishing the event as a state-level sanctioned tournament.

"We promoted it strictly as a local event and had a lot of participation from the Quad Cities, Galesburg and around the state," he said. "We put some people in the hotels."