KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ten minutes away from Kansas City International Airport sits thousands of acres of land. In a few years, it will become the home of thousands of solar panels.

Kansas City leaders are calling it the Solar Array Project.

It would produce up to 500 megawatts of electricity power, helping about 70,000 homes and nearby businesses like the airport.

“There’s also a great benefit to the city coming,” City Manager Brian Platt said. “We’re set to make millions of dollars over the life of this contract. So this is not only an energy resilient improvement, it’s a sustainability.”

On Thursday, Mayor Quinton Lucas introduced legislation to advance negotiations between the city manager and 816 Consortium, a group of four local companies: Evergy, Burns and McDonell, Herzog Railroad Services, Inc. and Savion.

“It’ll help us fight climate change and push us closer to our efforts of carbon neutrality by 2030,” Lucas said. “The project will be the largest solar array in the nation.”

Lucas said the plan is to break ground on the 3000-acre project in spring 2024 and start using the solar array in 2026.

“We can’t wait to build some state-of-the-art solar panels on this land,” Evergy President and CEO David Campbell said. “The first phase alone we’ll have about 70,000 of these panels, and it’ll only expand from there.”

How the project will be funded has not been determined yet. The mayor’s office said that will be discussed during future negotiations. We do know the city could receive a grant from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.