BPU Brings Community Solar Farm to Wyandotte County
The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities hosted a Dedication Ceremony for its new Community Solar Farm facility in Kansas City, Kansas on September 26, 2017. Community leaders, elected officials, industry representatives, and environmental advocates gathered to see the first municipal solar farm in the state of Kansas, and BPU’s newest renewable energy resource. Comprised of nearly 4,000 photovoltaic solar panels, the BPU Community Solar Farm allows residential utility customers that want to use solar energy, access to this sustainable resource from one central location, making it affordable and accessible for all. The community farm concept allows residents access to locally produced, sustainable solar energy, including non-homeowners (renters) and those whose property may not be suitable for a stand-alone solar unit.
“We are pleased to offer BPU customers the option of utilizing renewable solar energy that is produced right here in Wyandotte County,” said Don Gray, General Manager of BPU. “The Community Solar Farm provides simple, affordable access to solar energy for the entire community, with participants benefiting from reduced costs on their electric bills and the knowledge that they are reducing their individual carbon footprint.”
BPU is already one of the greenest public utilities in the nation, with 45% of its power generation coming from renewable energy sources, including wind, hydropower, landfill gas, and now solar. Each of the 3,780 individual solar panels in BPU’s 1,000 KW Community Solar Farm will eliminate 12 tons of CO2. That’s the equivalent of reducing single automobile emissions of 23,500 miles, planting 278 trees, or recycling 37 tons of waste versus placing it in a landfill.
Residential BPU customers will be able to lease from one to 10 solar panels over a multi-year period while receiving a credit of approximately $3.20 a month for each panel on their utility bill. An initial one-time lease fee of $470.00 applies throughout the 25-year life of the farm, with the user option of selling the individual panel back to BPU if a participant moves out of the service area.
About BPU BPU’s water department was originally created in 1909, and its electric utility was operational in 1912. The purpose of the utility, then and to this day, is to provide the highest quality electric and water services at the lowest possible cost. Today the publicly owned utility serves approximately 63,000 electric and 50,000 water customers, primarily in Wyandotte County, Kansas. The mission of the utility and its employees is “to focus on the needs of our customers, to improve the quality of life in our community while promoting safe, reliable and sustainable utilities.” BPU’s Web site is www.bpu.com.