City Wants Floating Solar Power Plant To Fight Water Pollution


The city of Adams is supporting an Australian green energy company that wants to build a floating power plant to clean up polluted Lake Petenwell.

It sounds like science fiction: a five-megawatt floating solar power plant that would suck the phosphorous out of one of Wisconsin’s largest flowages. It’s the brainchild of the Australian company Global Environmental Infrastructure Technology Solutions (GEITS). They have been talking to Adams County officials who want to clean up polluted Lake Petwenwell.

Now, GEITS is also talking with the city of Adams, according to administrator Bob Ellisor: “What we’ve actively been involved in is being an actual partner with this company and having them establish their operations right here in the city of Adams.”

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GEITS would build a factory in the Adams industrial park, where they would produce the power plant components. Ellisor says his city would use the technology to clean up its own wastewater.

“These facilities can be put in place virtually anywhere, whether it’s on open water with algae problems or, which is part of our partnership, having them use their technology at our wastewater treatment plant to reduce the phosphorous levels.”

There are hurdles ahead, including getting approval from the Department of Natural Resources to put a privately owned floating structure on a public waterway. Ellisor says the city of Adams will lobby the state in an effort make it happen.

“When you look at it: it’s green alternative energy, it’s water treatment, it’s jobs. And it’s bigger than just the city of Adams or Adams County. I mean, we’re talking something that would be just great for Wisconsin.”

GEITS has used the technology in other countries. This would be the first time it is used in the United States.

Updated: We corrected the spelling of Adams city administrator Bob Ellisor’s name.