Walnutport discusses pursuing solar farm
Walnutport may look to alternative energy to save money on electrical costs.
Councilwoman Jennifer Wentz asked borough council on Thursday if it was interested in pursuing a solar farm to help offset municipal costs.
However, borough engineer Jason Newhard noted that there isn’t a site large enough of borough-owned property to accommodate such a request.
“You need just over an acre to serve your needs,” Newhard said, adding that if the Walnutport Authority would join in, then double the size of that would be needed.
Newhard said both the borough and Walnutport Authority could apply for a grant jointly, which would enhance their chances.
He said it could result in a zero electrical cost to the borough and the Walnutport authority in which both entities could each realize a $50,000 to $60,000 savings.
“It would be a benefit to your taxpayers and residents,” Newhard said. “I think it’s worth looking at.”
Borough grant coordinator Michael Wentz said he, too, believes it could be a worthwhile project for the borough.
“It could be a win-win for everybody in Walnutport,” Wentz said. “Big-time.”
After the meeting, Newhard said a potential plot of land is the former municipal dump site on Mountain View Drive between the borough and Berlinsville.
Newhard encouraged council to prepare a plan to take before Lehigh Township because the borough would need to obtain zoning approval from the township since it’s the township’s property.
The consensus of borough council was that pursuing a solar farm is favorable.
After the meeting, Jennifer Wentz said she would like to see some action on the solar project by the end of the year.