Chipley looks at solar energy options

The City of Chipley is looking to a more energy efficient future, setting a goal of switching some of their facilities to solar powered operations.

Melvin Engineering performed a feasibility study for the project, with research highlighting key economic factors. The wastewater treatment plant cost the city coffers approximately $138,000; however, a change to solar power is projected to reduce that cost to around $54,000 annually.

Mayor Tracy Andrews says the idea of the study was to give the city an idea of how to proceed should the project get the green light.

“We asked for information on the switch to solar,” said Andrews. “The information provided gave us a general idea of the cost and a better direction to make it come to fruition should we choose to do so.”

The change will be an expensive one for Chipley, but officials say the information from the study can help the council make a more informed decision and better identify funding sources the project for aspects such as land purchases and equipment.

Andrews says the council will continue looking at options concerning solar energy.

“We have not decided one way or another that we will make the change to solar energy,” said Andrews. “We will continue to see what is out there and how we can move ahead with what is the best way we can be stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.”