Luverne Dedicates Solar Energy Research Project

City of Luverne latest to harvest power from the sun

The City of Luverne has taken a big step forward in the potential use of solar power.

“Solar energy is the thing of the future,” said Luverne Mayor Ed Beasley. “We might not realize it now, but our grandchildren and great grandchildren, once all the fossil fuels are gone, they’re going to have to depend on nuclear power or hydro-power, so I think it’s a big plus for the City of Luverne.”

This new solar research project is a joint effort between the city and the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority.

“We will be metering the facility instantaneously and be able to follow the electric generation from the sun through this facility,” said Fred Clark, Jr., President/CEO, Alabama Municipal Electric Authority.

A total of 160 solar panels facing southwest will produce 50 kilowatts of energy. The power will be felt throughout the city. The energy harnessed by these solar panels will be combined with other energy resources and delivered to homes and businesses.

“By it being interconnected to the Luverne system, all citizens of Luverne even in the smallest amounts of energy will receive solar energy from this facility,” said Clark.

The solar panels won’t immediately drop utility bills. But, the goal is to collect data on using solar energy as a cost-efficient sustainable resource long-term.

“We know that right now we know they are not a feasible energy source, but in the future, they may be,” said Morris Tate, Chairman, Luverne Electric Board.

Luverne is one of 11 cities selected as part of the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority solar energy study.  The project costs $1 million with about $85,000 going to each project site.

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