Stromsburg breaks ground on new solar array
STROMSBURG - Stromsburg is all in on renewable energy.
"We took the initiative to be aggressive and proactive," says city councilman Dennis Nuttelman. "We're trying to do something that's new in green energy."
The Polk County community recently broke ground on a one-megawatt solar array located at the site of the former Stromsburg Airport.
The new solar farm is a partnership between the city and Polk County Rural Public Power District to provide lower-cost power to the over 5,000 customers in PCRPPD's coverage area.
"We've seen such fluctuations in energy costs the last three to five years," says city councilman Doug Lamoree. "Some of those have been drastic. What we were looking for, and our citizens are appreciative to hear this, is a stable cost."
PCRPPD officials say the 2,000 solar panel array will offset 1,707 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually.
It's just the latest in Polk County's efforts to go green. They also get power from a wind turbine installed near Osceola by Bluestem Energy Solutions out of Omaha and are one of the smallest communities in the state with their own EV charging station.
City officials say it's all in an effort to attract and keep more residents.
"Young people are looking at renewable energy," says Stromsburg mayor Ken Everingham. "I think renewable energy is definitely the future. It's something that's going to be good for the community. It's something that will attract people and keep our rates lower."
"It epitomizes what it means to be public power in Nebraska," says PCRPPD General Manager Barb Fowler. "It's when we choose to work together that we can provide far more for our customers."
City officials say the solar farm should be operational by the end of this summer.