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Normal Township to install solar panels at senior center

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The Normal Activity and Recreation Center is located at 600 E. Willow St. in Normal.

NORMAL — The Normal Township plans to add solar panels to its Activity and Recreation Center by early 2021.

Illinois Solar For All program recently approved funding for the Normal Township to build a solar array at the activity center, 600 E. Willow St., in Normal.

“The solar array is an investment in the continued, long-term success of ARC, our senior center, which continues to be a top priority for the Township," Normal Township Supervisor Sarah Grammer said in a statement Thursday.

"This is yet another example of how the Normal Township board has worked to creatively improve finances for the senior center without raising taxes or membership fees,” said Grammer.

Illinois Solar For All will finance $549,661 of the $600,000 project so that there is no upfront cost to the township for installing the system, she said. The township will continue to pay a small monthly amount based on power consumption, and will own the system after six years.

The panels, built by StraightUp Solar of Bloomington, have a 25-year warranty and life expectancy of 30 to 35 years. They are expected to save the senior center $24,934 within its first year and $521,325 over a 15 year period. 

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Normal Township plans to add solar panels to its Activity and Recreation Center by early next year. 

A grassroots effort by the Ecology Action Center inspired the Normal Township to bring solar panels to the activity center. Leadership with the EAC played a key role in educating the township and making connections with local installers.

Grammer added that the project has been "over a year in the making, and Normal Township is extremely excited to have the array approved for funding,” 


Gallery: Historic front pages from The Pantagraph's archives

Contact Sierra Henry at 309-820-3234. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_sierrahenry.

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