- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

DONNELSON, Iowa (AP) - A southeast Iowa community is considering installing solar panels to power its wastewater treatment plant.

The Fort Madison Daily Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/1fKnumK ) the Donnellson City Council is interested in solar as a way to reduce the city wastewater plant’s energy costs, which have running about $5,000 a month.

Troy Van Beek, of Fairfield-based Ideal Energy, says it would cost about $1.2 million to convert to solar energy. It would take the city about 17 years to pay off that cost through reduced energy payments.

One city official called it a “no-brainer” to install such a system, but the council opted to take a cautious approach. Members approved a plan to investigate the matter, including studying the cost to insure the project and the price of basic designs.

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Information from: The Daily Democrat, http://www.dailydem.com