Independence residents sign up for solar power
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Leaders in Independence put on their blue hard hats, picked up their shovels and tossed some dirt on Wednesday for the official groundbreaking of the Independence Power & Light Community Solar Farm.
MC Power Company is building the solar power ‘farm’, and the solar power will be distributed through Independence Power & Light and billed through IPL. The project consists of 11,000 solar panels at the facility that will be built at 24451 E. Bundschu Road.
“It is more expensive than our normal rate but it does solidify your rate for a number of years and gives you an opportunity if you’re interested in renewable energy to have the opportunity to buy power from an alternative source,” explained Eileen Weir, Mayor of Independence. “The response has been incredible. We really took the lead from the community who was asking for these kinds of options,” she said. “They asked for a 25 percent commitment to proceed with the project and we’re at nearly 40 percent commitment.”
Mayor Weir said more people have made the choice individually to use solar power in their homes or businesses by adding solar panels.
“We found this was a much more economical way for people to be able to access solar power and allows us to generate a lot more megawatts than we could do through individual solar arrays on people’s homes or businesses,” she said.
She said the solar farm makes Independence different from other communities in the greater metropolitan area, but said being different is not the goal.
“It’s our goal to be better, and I think this does give us a better opportunity to compete in the economic development world.”
The solar farm will be located on Bundschu Road, about a three-minute drive from Fort Osage High School at 24 Highway and Twyman Rd.