Quick takes editorial: Solar power a wise investment
Columbus City Utilities is planning to install a solar array on 2.5 acres of land at the city’s wastewater treatment plant off State Road 11, and doing so is a great investment. Other city utilities and public entities should consider the potential benefits of such investments, not just for the good of the climate, but in the interests of ratepayers and taxpayers.
The $2.3 million cost of the solar array CCU is planning will be cut by about 30% as a result of a tax credit under the federal Inflation Reduction Act, so that will make the actual cost closer to $1.6 million. At the current cost of electricity, utilities officials estimate savings of about $140,000 a year. And if electric costs go up, so will the savings.
So in a decade or so, the array will pay for itself. And given the likelihood of 30 years of service from a solar array, there is a very good likelihood that the savings will pay for the installation two or three times over.
So we commend Columbus City Utilities for taking this decision. In addition to showing good stewardship of ratepayer dollars, they are removing greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. They also are demonstrating to other public entities that investments in green energy can save us all some green.
Let’s help WestRock workers
WestRock workers in Columbus got the news Tuesday morning that the plant at State Street and Marr Road will cease production in mid-October, putting about 100 workers out of a job.
The company has employed about 100 or more workers consistently since its founding in 1968 as a Weyerhaeuser container factory, and the closure announcement came as a surprise to workers and local officials. Now that the decision has been made, though, we call on the city and state to ensure workers receive all the benefits they are entitled to under state and federal law.
WestRock’s notice to employees on Aug. 15 complied with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN) Act by announcing the plant closing on Oct. 15 — exactly 60 days, as required under the law.
Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop, who said he only got notice of the closing the day before it was announced, said the city would reach out to WestRock, which hasn’t decided what it will do with the plant. Meantime, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development must do all it can for WestRock workers who may need assistance transitioning to new employment.
WestRock workers who would like to connect with that agency to learn about services and benefits they may be entitled to can do so by emailing [email protected] We wish WestRock employees well.
Cummins keeps amazing us
We never tire of being wowed by the marvels coming out of Cummins. So when The Republic’s Andy East wrote about a hydrogen fuel cell-powered train in Quebec using technology developed by the Columbus-based powerhouse, you know we were onboard with that.
Accelera by Cummins products are powering the Coradia iLint, the first green-hydrogen powered passenger train in North America. “It started running in June in Canada as part of a demonstration project by France-based Alstom and is expected to take riders on a trip along the railway of Train de Charlevoix in Quebec through the end of September,” East wrote.
That this technological triumph traverses a pristine UNESCO Biosphere Reserve just adds to our desire to ride it. For now, though, we will settle for the Youtube video. Go there, search for Coradia iLint and prepare to be transported to a future that has arrived.