With Kansas City International Airport’s new terminal mere months from completion, the city is turning its attention to surrounding vacant land, where officials envision a sustainable energy project capable of powering tens of thousands of households.
The city’s Aviation Department on Thursday issued a request for proposals seeking developers to build a utility-scale solar farm across as many as 3,131 undeveloped acres reserved for non-aviation uses west, southwest and south of the airport.
If that full vacant area were cleared for a solar project, its photovoltaic (PV) systems could provide up to 500 megawatts (MW) of power, or enough to power up to 70,000 Kansas City homes, based on local averages, according to a city feasibility study completed in May. A developer could operate the farm long-term land lease and energy purchase agreements with the airport.
“We need bold, innovative, and aggressive solutions if we ever want to make transformational improvements to our environment,” City Manager Brian Platt said in a statement.
“This solar array will be a national example of the potential that exists when we commit to thinking big and will have a tremendously positive impact on air quality, the health of our residents and our local energy grid.”