Madison County to award grants for solar power

July 9, 2019 

Madison County to award grants for solar power

EDWARDSVILLE — Officials approved more than $406,000 in grants this week for projects that will energize parks with solar power in Madison County. 

The Grants Committee voted Monday to approve the $406,753 in Solar Park grants for 11 projects for parks across the county. On Wednesday, July 17, the County Board will vote on the grants. 

“This is the first time for the Solar Park Grant program in Madison County,” Community Development Coordinator James Arnold said. 

Arnold said U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded the program and it’s designed to assist park districts, municipal parks and recreation departments within the county to develop and enhance their parks through solar power. 

He said the county created the grant from leftover DOE funds. The monies were available through the remaining Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funding the county used on lighting upgrades and from the Revolving Loan Fund for lighting upgrades for municipalities. 

 “This grant is yet another opportunity to make improvements to parks within Madison County, while also being energy efficient,” Community Development Administrator Trudy Bodenbach said. 

The grant is providing funding to solarize items such as lighting, restrooms, scoreboards, charging stations and more. The maximum amount awarded was $50,000. 

“Five of the communities are receiving the maximum funding,” Arnold said. “All communities that applied received funding for their projects. Without this grant opportunity these communities would not attempt solar projects.” 

The grant recipients, award amounts and projects are: 

  • Village of Hamel: $35,253 — solar array for community park building
  • Tri-Township Park District: $22,750 — solar lighting for trail sections currently without lights
  • New Douglas Township: $50,000 — solar array to power the RecPlex
  • Granite City Park District: $50,000 —solar array to cart barn at Legacy to charge carts
  • Village of Marine: $50,000 — solar array to power Village Park and lighting of walking trails
  • Chouteau Township: $3,964 — solar powered lighting in park
  • Village of Godfrey: $50,000.00 — solar power concessions and restrooms at Glazebrook
  • Village of New Douglas: $38,841— village park solar lighting
  • St. Jacob Park District: $27,525.35 — three solar powered scoreboards to ball fields
  • Village of South Roxana: $28,420 — solar powered lighting, tables, charging stations and benches
  • Wood River Parks and Recreation: $50,000— solar power to Belk Park

County Board member Judy Kuhn of Trenton said she was in favor of the new program. She said that program would be able to assist New Douglas Township with a cost savings in its electric bills.