SPRINGFIELD, MO - City Utilities of Springfield could soon increase its renewable energy. The solar farm the city, currently, has that consists of nearly 22,000 solar panels. But by adding a second solar farm the City of Springfield would have the capacity for approximately 3 megawatts of energy powering about 600 homes.
City Utilities and the Springfield - Branson National Airport are in talks of adding another source renewable energy to the city. Cara Shaefer, with the city, says it’s all about the people metro area.
“I think that any time we add a renewable resource to the area, that has no emissions, and certainly that’s a benefit to the environment and to our community," says Shaefer.
The new solar farm would take up 30 acres near the airport. Strata Solar, currently, owns the solar farm on Farm Road 112. Shaefer says, as of right now, it’s too early to tell who the developer will be. "We plan to go out for a bid with the request for proposals, probably, in the next month or so," she explains. "And then seeing how many we get in and seeing what the prices look like and then we possibly will go forward with it.”
Last year, the city was 30 percent renewable in their entire electric portfolio and by next year hopes to reach 50 percent renewable. "Which is really, pretty, incredible when you think from a municipal utility that primarily generated all of our electricity with coal in the not to distant past.”
Shaefer says that whoever does become the developer has to own it for at least 7 years because of federal tax credits. But after that the city will have the opportunity to purchase it.
The city wants to remind folks that this is still in the early stages and by adding the second solar farm it will show the city’s commitment to renewable energy.