As a resident of the State of Missouri I can tell you that we have a lot of sunshine – most of the time. But in spite of great solar and wind resources, the state has been extremely slow to pursue renewable energy projects. Today marked a milestone for this midwest state with dedication of one utility scale solar project and the announcement of development plans for another.
There was a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony at the Macon Missouri Solar Energy Farm. City officials, state and local legislators and representatives from the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC) were all in attendance to mark the occasion.
At slightly over 3.2 MW, the Macon solar farm will be used by the 35-member cities of the Missouri Public Energy Pool (MoPEP), including the City of Macon. Macon has owned its electric utility since 1890 and became a member of MoPEP for power purchases in 2000. The Macon site solar farm will provide clean, emission-free, renewable electricity generating an estimated 4,990 MWh of clean solar power the first year of operation, enough to support the annual needs of 300 homes and offset 122,754 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The solar farm, which began producing power to Macon in May, is comprised of more than 10,800 solar panels and 30 miles of wiring.
Developers of the Macon project, Gardner Capital, Inc. and MC Power Companies, used the occasion to announce the groundbreaking and development plans for an additional solar utility-scale photovoltaic power generation system 80 miles away in Trenton, both totaling 6.5 MW.Groundbreaking on the Trenton solar farm is scheduled for Wed., July 8, with expected completion set for late 2016.
“We’re thrilled these solar projects will have such a definite impact for Missourians living in these communities as well as for the energy savings that will be generated,” said Michael Gardner, principal of Gardner Capital and president of Gardner Capital Solar Development.
Tracey is an accountant and entrepreneur with a passion for nature. This passion is what spurred her interest in renewable energy, and the rest is history as they say. Tracey is a principal in Energy Think Group, the publisher of Solar Thermal Magazine and Tek-Think. She is also the principal at Women's Financial Help Desk. She spends her free time in the outdoors with her horses and dogs. She loves to travel.