Kansas Electric Cooperatives are investing in over 20 megawatts (MW) of solar power to be deployed across 800 miles of the state, and power 80,000 homes in rural Kansas. Sedgwick County Electric Cooperative joins 11 other rural electric cooperatives in Kansas in deploying sun farms. Sedgwick County Electric Cooperative’s portion of the project consists of two solar arrays sized at 1 MW each. Preliminary work has already started on the two tracts of land acquired for the project by Sedgwick County Electric Cooperative. Construction should be completed by June 2021.
“Investing in solar is only one more way the cooperative operates to reduce the usage of electricity during peak hours and regulate the cost of power within our community,” Sedgwick’s CEO Scott Ayres .
“At Sedgwick County Electric Co-op, we care deeply about our members, communities, and the environment,” says Sedgwick’s CEO Scott Ayres. “We are committed to providing safe, reliable innovative energy solutions for our member-owners,” says Ayres.
The Sedgwick County Electric Cooperative 1-Megawatt solar arrays will be located at our Maize and Cheney Substation Locations.
Today’s Power Inc. (TPI), a North Little Rock-based company created by rural electric cooperatives in Arkansas, will develop and own the two Sedgwick County Electric Cooperative solar arrays, and the other arrays in Kansas. Over the past five years in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, Today’s Power Inc. has successfully installed more than 30 solar projects totaling more than 40 Megawatts.
“We are excited to partner with Sedgwick County Electric Cooperative and the other eleven Kansas electric cooperatives to add these new sun farms to the grid and support Sedgwick County Electric’s operations,” said Jennah Denney, Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator at Today’s Power, Inc. “The two sun farms that we are developing with the cooperation of Sedgwick County Electric Cooperative is an important part of their goal to provide reliable energy at a stable rate.”
A solar power service agreement (SPSA) with Today’s Power Inc. has been signed by Sedgwick County Electric Cooperative to purchase the solar energy generated by the two arrays for the next 25 years. This type of agreement ensures that the cooperative is not at risk or liable for the ongoing costs associated with the solar system’s maintenance and operation.
All of the participating Kansas rural electric cooperatives were able to negotiate very favorable long-term rates by working together in the Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program. In addition, in the design process, the solar arrays will be customized to optimize production during the peak demand hours of the cooperative, when electricity is most costly. These variables would all assist Sedgwick County Electric Cooperative to stabilize the cost of electricity and keep power affordable for its member-owners of the cooperative.
“I am really excited about this project,” says Ayres “As an Electric Cooperative owned by the people we serve, it is our job to do our part to make a difference at home and for the greater good of our members.”
National data shows that solar power in the country is increasing rapidly. Investing in these two large arrays ensures that the clean, affordable power generated would help all Sedgwick County Electric Cooperative member-owners.