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Officials Inaugurate Solar-Powered System for Wastewater Treatment Plant in Sonora

LADB Article ID: 80001
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2016-06-01
By: Carlos Navarro

The city of Nogales in Sonora became the first community in Mexico to install a system to power a wastewater treatment plant entirely with energy obtained from the sun. The facility, known as Los Alisos, will be powered by an array of 3,900 photovoltaic cells installed in an area of 15,000 square meters. The plant has the capacity to treat 220 liters of sewage per second. Los Alisos is one of a handful of facilities in North America that are powered by solar energy. Similar plants exist in the US cities of Auburn, California, Boulder, Colorado, Gresham, Oregon, Galena, Illinois, and Upper Marlboro-Germantown, Maryland. Developers in the Ruhr region of Germany have also installed a solar-powered wastewater treatment system. Funding for the solar system came primarily from the Mexican federal and Sonora state governments, although the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided a little more than 8% of the investment of 82.8 million pesos (US$4.5 million) needed to install the system. “I am very pleased that this photovoltaic water treatment plant, the only one in the country, is located in our state,” Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich Arellano said at the inauguration ceremony in late May. Officials noted that the solar-powered facility is also the only one of its kind in Latin America.

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