West African Dignitaries Visit Brooklyn Park
West African dignitaries are getting a firsthand look at a Brooklyn Park facility. A governor from Liberia and one from Nigeria toured the city on Wednesday. They made a stop at the water treatment facility to check out Brooklyn Park’s large installation of solar panels. The project was largest of its kind for any city in Minnesota.
“They were interested in the investment the city made and the solar panels, and of course our investment was zero, but we’re going to be saving over $65,000 a year,” said Dan Ruiz, Brooklyn Park’s director of operations and maintenance.
The two leaders were interested in how the city financed the project. They wanted to know if they can use the same model in their homeland.
“We are hopeful of getting some solar panels back home that will help our hospitals, that will help our schools,” explained Jerry Varnie, superintendent of Margibi County in Liberia.
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state in Nigeria was equally impressed.
“Very good model here, and that’s what I want to do after negotiations, to see if I can take this model and also repeat it in my state,” said Governor Lalong.
The African leaders were also curious about solar maintenance costs. Brooklyn Park officials estimate that number to be around $20,000 a year over 20 years.