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HAMILTON COUNTY  —  In rural Hamilton County, the Conservation Board has found a unique way to save taxpayers money: solar power.

In a state that has already cornered the market on wind energy, Little Wall Lake Park has harnessed the power of the sun.

“County conservation should be doing renewable projects, especially using our natural resources the way that we do, finding those renewable and natural resources such as the solar is a great opportunity to set this up,” said Brian Lammers, Executive Director of Hamilton County Conservation.

They partnered with Eagle Point Solar to build a 376-panel solar array that has the capability to completely offset the park’s electric consumption.

“We’re a county government agency, so those taxpayers’ dollars support our local parks, and this is one way we can hopefully save those taxpaying dollars,” said Lammers.

The solar array is the first of its kind in an Iowa county park, and on days when the sun is shining, will put a major dent in the $30,000 electricity bill the park pays each year.

“This will basically feed all of our campsites. We have over 100 campsites in the park, we have three modern cabins, and we hope to build a lodge down the road,” said Lammers.

Meanwhile, Eagle Point Solar hopes to build more solar arrays at parks across the state, and Iowa is the perfect state for it.

“Are we actively planning any right now? The answer is no, but I’d like to go to one.  We believe, obviously, that the solar industry is going to take off like a rocket ship, and we have to give credit to the state of Iowa, because the state of Iowa is extremely renewable-friendly,” said Larry Steffen, Vice President of Sales for Eagle Point.

Eagle Point owns the array and sells the electricity it generates to Hamilton county at a cheaper rate than they can buy from a utility.  At the end of a 25-year contract they will sell the array to Hamilton County for one dollar.