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Air pollution settlement pays for Ascension Parish solar panels

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GONZALES - Energy company NRG spent over $1 million on an Ascension Parish solar project as part of an air pollution settlement. More than 1,000 solar panels were installed at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Complex.

The facility houses a number of parish government offices with 150 employees. The solar panels could reduce power bills by 10 percent, that's a savings of $20,000 during a peak month.

Part of the project includes a number of solar powered LED light poles that line a walking trail at the expo. Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez calls the project "a wonderful addition."

NRG paid for the project out of a private grant as part of a federal consent decree over pollution emissions from the company's Big Cajun II electrical plant in New Roads.

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