Bloomfield: Small Town Going Big with Solar
How Bloomfield is Revitalizing and Reshaping the Energy Future of Iowa
The City of Bloomfield’s journey to energy independence has taken a big step forward this December, after years of research, evaluation, and planning by many of the top energy professionals around the Midwest, and beyond. Bloomfield, with a population of less than 3,000 people, has installed a massive 1.86 megawatt solar field to generate their own power.
The solar field was finished at the end of December, and the team here at Simpleray was so excited to be a part of this journey. We worked with the City of Bloomfield closely throughout the planning, financing, procurement, and construction process. This project is the largest tracking solar array in the state of Iowa to date. A tracking solar array, compared to a traditional fixed array, rotates on an axis to follow the sun as it moves during the day. This gathers significantly more solar power, and will produce 10% of Bloomfield’s annual energy.
“Bloomfield is where I’m originally from, so it’s great to see the leaders of the community put a lot of effort into making the town more sustainable,” said Tyler Anderson, president of Simpleray.
Bloomfield’s solar project, is part of what city officials have hailed as, “a community effort to become energy independent by 2030.”
“It’s for the future. It’s not for today, it’s for 20 years from now, it’s for 50 years from now… to hedge against rising costs of energy production.” said City Councilman Earl Howard, who has lived in Bloomfield for over 38 years.
The Bloomfield City Council decided to pursue energy independence in the Fall of 2014, on the heels of a study conducted by the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities. The study revealed that small towns could “save big” with efficiency renewables.
Howard explains that the solar project, “frees up city revenues for other projects, it saves the home owner money. If we are buying less high priced energy, then we are not raising the rates to the consumer so that’s the stability of it… It gives the homeowner funds to be able to use for other things that they need.”
Through hard work and dedication Bloomfield is pioneering the path to stabilized energy prices for every resident long term.
The project is one of several utility scale projects in the state installed by Simpleray, including the recent 979.5 kilowatt solar project installed at State Center, Iowa.
For more information on the Bloomfield solar project please visit: www.bloomfield.solar