First community-owned solar garden comes to Kansas

Mar 20, 2014

A solar panel garden in Houston, Texas
A solar panel garden in Houston, Texas
Credit southunioncdc.org

Two energy companies are partnering to build the largest community solar array in Kansas.  Community-owned Midwest Energy and community solar developer Clean Energy Collective (CEC) signed an agreement to build a 1-MW community solar photovoltaic array according to a recent article in Utility Products.

A 4,000-panel solar garden will be constructed within the service territory of Midwest Energy.  The placement makes renewable energy ownership available to all of their 50,000 electric members.

Members of Midwest Energy will purchase the panels directly from CEC; Midwest Energy will then purchase the power from CEC, and then provide a credit to member’s bills. 

The purchase price of the panels will include any rebates and tax incentives as if the panels were placed on a customer’s roof.

Customers get the benefits of solar ownership, without the hassle of research, construction, maintenance, and repair of the rooftop system.

Energy credits can move with each owner as long as they stay within the utility territory.  Owners may resell their panels at any time.

“We’re excited to be the first utility in Kansas to offer community-owned solar to our members,” said John Blackwell, chairman of Midwest Energy’s board of directors. “Our customers have signaled they’re supportive of renewable energy, and we’re pleased to bring this solar ownership opportunity to them.”