DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - There is a new addition coming to Westage Park: 160 solar panels will be installed next week as part of a new solar energy research project.
A groundbreaking was held Thursday near the softball fields where the panels will be located.
The research is through a partnership between Alabama Municipal Electric Authority and Dothan Utilities. The energy harnessed from the solar panels will blend with other energy resources and be distributed to local homes and businesses. It's expected to be a seamless process and home owners and business owners likely won't be able to tell if the electricity generated by the solar project is powering their home or business, according to AMEA.
Although the solar panels won't immediately d rop your utilities bill, the goal is to figure out how to use it as a cost-efficient sustainable resource long-term,
"As we think about the production of solar in these different locations, we will learn from that. Then as the economies improve for the costs of panels we hope to be competitive in using it as a resource of the future," said Fred Clark, President and CEO of AMEA.
The project costs $1 million with about $85,000 going to each project site. Other project sites include Alexander City, Fairhope, LaFayette, Lanett, Luverne, Opelika, Piedmont, Riviera Utilities, Sylacauga and Tuskegee. The research is funded by the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority.