A solar panel array is under construction at the Raccoon River Pet Rescue (RRPR) in Perry that will soon meet all of the facility’s electricity needs.
Larry Meacham, who sits on the board of the RRPR, said solar power was considered in the initial planning for the installation, but omitted for reasons of cost savings. A sophisticated HVAC system was installed instead to minimize odors normally associated with such a facility.
“It didn’t take many electric bills for us to realize that utility costs were a big financial drain,” Meacham said. “We resurrected the solar idea and, after doing our research, concluded that it should be a good long-term investment due to financial and climatological considerations.”
The solar array is installed by Fairfield-based Simpleray. Meacham said the solar system is expected to provide about 226,000 kilowatts of electricity per year, which should cover all of the pet shelter’s power needs.
“Barring weather delays, we expect the installation to be complete around March 1,” he said. “We are required to have the system inspected by Alliant Energy and hope to bring it online in early April.”
The green power project puts the RRPR on a parallel track with the city of Perry, which is also installing an extensive solar power system that will allow the city to approach net zero emissions. The RRPR is not a branch of city government but works closely with the Perry Animal Control Facility.