News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Gates receives grants to aid water plant

Gates has received approximately $325,000 in Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) grants that will assist a project to add solar panels to the city’s water treatment plant.

The grants were sought to improve the resilience of the plant and reduce the operating costs over the next twenty years, said Mayor Brian Gander in a press release.

The Gates water treatment plant will get some energy relief via grants that will help add solar panels to the facility.      James Day
The Gates water treatment plant will get some energy relief via grants that will help add solar panels to the facility.                James Day

A planning grant of $13,400 was awarded by the ODOE to complete the design of the solar project. The design consists of a battery storage system to support the plant when energy from the grid is unavailable and a solar panel system of approximately 120 photovoltaic panels. The system is intended to generate enough electricity to reduce the power costs of the plant by 75% to 85% annually.

A second grant of $312,852 will pay toward the construction of the project. The city initially sought $634,000, based on the recommendations of its design consultants. Because the grant awarded is below the request, Gander said, both components of the project will either need to be scaled back or a second grant must be found to cover the costs.

The City Council has authorized grant writers Gander and councilor/water commissioner Ron Evans to continue to seek grants that will bring the construction grant total up to the original design specifications. The city also will have to look for a means to financially support the construction process until the reimbursement process of ODOE kicks in.

No construction timelines were available.

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