City of Marianna has ribbon cutting for new solar plant


    Press release by Jim Dean
    Marianna, Florida, October 3, 2019 – Today the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) State Revolving Fund joined the City of Marianna and partner organizations along with local residents for a ribbon cutting at the new City Waste Water Treatment Plant Solar Farm. The new facility, which received just over $4.6 million in funding available through FDEP in partnership with the US Department of Environment Protection Agency, will provide nearly all of the energy needs for the existing treatment plant.
    Energy costs associated with the City’s treatment plant constitute 23 percent of the entire wastewater utility operation and maintenance expense budget. This state-of-the-art solar array is here today because the City Commission prioritized wastewater rate control and the longevity of its systems and voted in favor of a loan agreement measure to bring that goal to fruition. FDEP is proud to have played a role in providing funding for this critically important facility for the residents of Marianna.
    The City’s solar farms, designed by David H. Melvin, Inc., will actually be located on Davey Street, near the wastewater treatment facility, and at the City’s spray field located on Pittman Hill Road, south of Marianna. The new solar farms will produce over 2,300 KW for the operation of both facilities. The project was funded 100% by FDEP in the form of a Loan Agreement executed by the Department and City Commission. Due to the economic challenges of the region the City was able to secure 80% of the funding in the form of a forgivable loan, with the remaining 20% of loan funds being amortized over a period of 20 years at an interest rate of less than 1%.
    With its two solar farms, the City of Marianna should be able to meet all its energy needs for the two facilities. The ability to use solar energy will allow the City of Marianna to control rising operational costs, while at the same time maintaining affordable rates for its citizens.


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