By Larry Dreiling
Groundbreaking on a new type of farm was held recently north of Colby, Kansas.
Kansas’s first community solar farm—or array—operated by Hays-based Midwest Energy, Inc., (MWE) and Carbondale, Colorado-based Clean Energy Collective (CEC), will be the nation’s largest solar tracking community solar array, soon to provide 1.2 megawatts of locally-produced clean energy production available to Midwest Energy (MWE) customers throughout central and western Kansas.
Responding to its members’ demand for more energy derived from renewables, MWE Board Chairman John Blackwell said the utility was excited to be the first in Kansas to offer community-owned solar.
Community solar arrays are centralized photovoltaic power facilities that deliver reliable, commercial-scale renewable energy to an electric utility’s grid. The utility’s customers, including residences, businesses and tax-exempt entities, can own or lease solar panels in the array without having to install panels on their own rooftop or property.
The solar tracking array feature will be a bonus, since the array’s panels will not be fixed but capable of moving with the sun as it moves across the sky, enabling the panels to have a longer period of use throughout a day.
“Our customers have signaled they’re supportive of renewable energy, and we’re pleased to bring this solar ownership opportunity to them,” Blackwell said. [Read More]