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City of Perry working to reduce carbon footprint

The City of Perry has two renewable energy projects to help reach sustainability goals. One of those will fully supply energy to 10 city buildings.

PERRY, Iowa — The City of Perry is working to reduce its carbon footprint through two renewable energy projects.

The first is powering 10 city buildings with solar energy.

Sven Peterson, the city administrator, said the solar panels for the first project will be completed by the end of this month.

"Of those 10 facilities, these solar panels will provide over 100 percent of the power to those facilities," Peterson said.

He said this project has been in the works for years. The goal is not only to progress toward the city's sustainability initiative of having net-zero energy consumption, but also to save money. 

"Over the life of these the solar facilities on these ten buildings the city intends to save over $5 million on our power costs," Peterson said.

Those panels are going on rooftops, bike trails and some pavilions. They come at no cost to the city due to an agreement with Red Lion Renewables. 

"It's a Power Purchase agreement," Terry Dvorak the CEO of Red Lion Renewables, said. "No money out of pocket for the city, we finance it with my investors. We simply sell them the electricity cheaper than they are now."

And this is not the only renewable energy project happening in the city. 

A site in town that used to be a railroad property that was decontaminated with the EPA, will be leased to Alliant Energy. 

In return for leasing, the city will get tens of thousands of dollars a year and renewable energy credits. 

Mason Adams, the key account manager for Alliant Energy, said his company is excited for the partnership. 

"This is Alliant Energy's first customer-hosted solar project announced in the state of Iowa," Adams said. "Putting a solar array there not only provides into the distribution credit there it provides benefit for all of our customers."

Once both projects are complete, the city plans to use them as a way to try and attract new businesses into the area. 

"More companies are looking to locate places that have an intentional eye on sustainability and creating sustainable communities," Peterson said.

The second project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. 

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