LINDSBORG – Electric utility DSO Electric Cooperative dedicated two solar farms with its “Flip the Switch” event Wednesday, with one north of Lindsborg and one in Junction City.
The two farms are a part of 22 systems that stretch across the state and make up the Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program that ensures low-cost renewable energy to 12 participating cooperatives.
The KCSPP is spearheaded by Today’s Power Inc. of North Little Rock, Arkansas, which linked the DSO farms to the grid after construction and regulatory approvals were completed in May.
Both farms were built with the goals of maximizing power output during peak demand hours and lowering peak demand charges to maintain stable, affordable rates for the cooperative’s members.
DSO and the other cooperatives within the program recently modified their wholesale power contract to gain the ability to obtain 15% of peak demand and add five percent of renewable energy such as solar within that amount. That allowed the company to participate in the KCSPP and purchase the electricity generated by the solar farms at a fixed-low cost for 25 years while TPI owns and operates the solar arrays.
Michael Henderson, the president of TPI, called it “gratifying” to provide direct savings through programs such as KCSPP.
“The leadership of DSO should be commended for their forward-thinking efforts in serving their members,” Henderson said a release from TPI.
The farms in Lindsborg and Junction City are both 1-megawatt alternating current facilities, and the Lindsborg farm uses 3,500 solar modules as compared to 3,450 at Junction City.
DSO CEO Tim Power commented on the process of completing the projects.
“Mike Olberding, our operations manager, did a great job managing the projects and making sure things stayed on schedule,” Power said in the release. “I also want to give a shout-out to the owners of the land we purchased for the solar farms, the city and county officials, and people with Today’s Power; they were all easy to work with and instrumental in helping us get to this day.”