Hogback comm site going solar | PostIndependent.com

Hogback comm site going solar

Jeremy Heiman
Special to the Post Independent

A new hybrid generator system may soon power an emergency communications radio transmitter on the Grand Hogback near Harvey Gap, north of Silt.

The main users of the transmitter are the Silt Ambulance Service and Garfield County Road and Bridge Department. Garfield County government maintains the transmitter, which currently receives power by way of an overhead line.

Garfield County operations manager Dale Hancock told the County Commissioners Monday that the powerline serving the site is in poor condition and somewhat of a fire hazard.

Hancock proposed powering the communications site with a solar electric system backed up by a propane-fueled generator.

The two power sources provide redundant power to a bank of storage batteries. If either system fails, the other can charge the batteries.

Such systems, with the capacity to power the county’s transmitter station, cost $35,000 to $40,000.

Commissioner Larry McCown said he expects the transmitter equipment to become obsolete in the near future, with a new standard frequency for emergency communication on the horizon. But he also conceded the site needs an upgraded power source now.

“My first knee-jerk reaction is to go ahead with the solar now,” McCown said.

The commissioners unanimously authorized Hancock to take bids on a hybrid system, with a bid ceiling at $40,000.

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