Solar array's panels up close

A solar array that provides about 12 percent of the electricity used at the wastewater plant was completed in 2015. It is an example of the projects the Hutchinson Public Works Department plays a role in.

The city of Hutchinson was recognized for its solar array this past week when the Environmental Initiative, a nonprofit organization, honored the winners of the 25th Anniversary Environmental Initiative Awards at a ceremony and dinner in Minneapolis.

Hutchinson is home to the largest landfill solar project in Minnesota, made possible by public-private partnership. The 400-kilowatt array is tied directly to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, helping offset energy use for the city’s largest municipal energy consumer. The project is the first of its kind in the state.

The May 25 awards event marked the celebration of the organization’s 25th anniversary and its work during the past quarter-century to develop cross-sector partnerships to solve Minnesota’s environmental problems.

“Of all the things we do, the Environmental Initiative Awards truly exemplifies the spirit of our mission to solve problems collaboratively,” said Mike Harley, Environmental Initiative executive director. “Since the first awards in 1994, our goal has always been to lift up those who work together for our environment.”