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City of Adams may build solar power plant

By Mary Jo Ola, mola@wisctv.com
Published On: Apr 26 2013 06:03:59 PM CDT
ADAMS, Wis. -

The City of Adams wants to partner with Global Environmental Infrastructure Technologies to build a floating solar power plant on Lake Petenwell.

It would clean up the blue-green algae by sucking up phosphorus and other contaminants.

The self-contained plant would be just north of the Petenwell Dam. The Australian-based energy company would finance the project, and it could take on one of several different looks.

Adams Mayor JanAlyn Baumgartener said algae on the lake gets so bad, no one wants to go in the water. She added there's nothing to lose.

"If it does work, it could increase tourism. The lakes are clean for people who live near them year-round, and we don't have that now," said Baumgartner.

GEITS also plans to build a factory in the Adams Industrial Park, off Highway 13. There, they would make power plant pieces and use green technology to clean the city's wastewater. They may also power street lights.

This is expected to create an initial 30 jobs, later that could increase to 200.

However, there is the challege of a private company building what's slated to be a 600-acre plant on a public waterway.

Also, the Department of Natural Resources said they are already conducting a multi-year study of the lake to come up with a solution.

"In terms of a company taking over a large part of the a public lake, that's a very unusual situation," said DNR communications specialist Ed Culhane.

This would be GEITS' first floating solar power plant in the United States. It completed a similar project in Italy.

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