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San Benito completes model solar project

Release Date: 10/03/2008
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or

System to show potential of renewable energy along US-Mexico border

(Dallas, Texas – October 3, 2008) The City of San Benito, Texas, marked the completion of a $325,000 solar-powered array for its new water treatment plant with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at the facility.

Funding for the photovoltaic system came from the Environmental Protection Agency through a grant to the Texas General Land Office and its Renewable Energy Program.

“Solar power pays off,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “These types of projects cut energy costs, save demand on the electricity grid, and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases going into the environment.”

The San Benito plant will be able to filter up to six million gallons of water a day, with the photovoltaic system providing about 10 percent of the power used to filter water at the plant. The 45 kilowatt project is the largest of its kind on the Texas-Mexico border, and officials hope it will inspire more solar-powered projects throughout the border region. EPA works with the Border Environment Cooperation Commission and the North American Development Bank to fund sustainable infrastructure projects along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Interest in renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal power, continues to grow as more communities attempt to balance the need to cut pollution and greenhouse gases with increased demands and costs for energy. Both the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy make it both attractive and practical for areas with sunny climates. Officials hope to use the San Benito facility to showcase the potential of solar power as a viable energy source.

Additional information on EPA’s renewable energy programs is available at

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