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County to consider solar energy option

Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014 10:36 p.m. CDT

GENEVA – Kane County Board member Mike Donahue hopes an energy-savings measure he installed at his Geneva home will make its way to county buildings.

Thursday, Donahue told the Energy and Environmental Committee about his experience with solar panels, which he has used to power his home since May 2012. Pointing to data from the last seven days, Donahue said the 32 panels generate power even on overcast and rainy days.

He said he receives alerts when problems – such as ice cover – occur.

Donahue said he invested about $24,000 in the system. He expects the system to pay for itself within 7 1/2 years, he said, noting he's two years into that timeframe.

He said it would be a "no brainer" for entities that expect to be around for decades, such as the county, to invest in the technology.

Committee Chairman Kurt Kojzarek, R-Gilberts, said the committee is in agreement to move forward with a solar production feasibility assessment at the Kane County Judicial Center.

Board member Phil Lewis, R-St. Charles, also asked that the committee consider an anti-idling policy, which was suggested by a presenter who discussed alternative fuel vehicles. Such a policy would set rules about when county vehicles can and cannot be left idling.

Kojzarek said he was in "complete agreement" and already had asked Ken Anderson, the county's environmental and water resource division director, to discuss the topic with the sheriff and deputy director of transportation.

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