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Sustainability Coordinator Carrie Malfeo took the podium at Monday night's board meeting and provided the mayor and Village trustees with an update on the first year of the solar project at Park Forest Water Treatment Plant.
Last year, the Village held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in September for the two-year project at the forefront of the Village's solar plan, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2025.
Malfeo said the Village has reaped the benefits of installing the roof and ground array at the Park Forest Water Plant to offset energy from the Village's largest energy-consuming facility. She noted the solar plan is saving Park Forest money.
"At the time of writing this, the system has produced 699.87 megawatt hours of energy, saving the Village $37,600 on electric bills and reducing our kWh by 418,750," Malfeo said to the board. "This is equivalent to planting 12,374 trees."
Malfeo said a real-time solar production dashboard on the Sustainability home page on the Village website can be accessed here. Additionally, she said a sign at the Water Plant entrance, 100 Park Street, has been installed to help communicate to the public the Village's commitment to renewable energy and cost savings.
Malfeo added that this solar project is estimated to save the Village $1.4 million in 25 years. Another sign will be coming soon on Orchard Drive to connect the project with the solar arrays visible at times in the background.
For more information about this project or anything regarding sustainability, Malfeo said residents can call her at 708-503-9372.