As state’s largest renewable sponsor, utility seeks proposals from solar developers. With growing customer interest in more green energy options, Westar Energy, the state’s largest sponsor of renewable energy is expanding those choices. Westar is looking for proposals from experienced solar developers for a solar garden to help bring solar power to customers who live in homes not suited for solar panels, customers who do not want to be tasked with panel maintenance or customers who don’t want to commit to debt or long-term contracts, but still want to use more clean energy.
Solar gardens use technology similar to rooftop solar panels, but are much more efficient and cost effective. By participating in a centralized solar garden, subscribers’ cost may be about half what it would be for energy from a rooftop installation.
In 2016, Westar Energy will offer customers an opportunity to participate in one or more solar gardens that will be built in central and eastern Kansas. Detailed information about how Westar customers can participate and the rate plans will be available next spring.
“Solar gardens are an extension of Westar’s leadership in growing Kansas’ renewable energy,” Mark Ruelle, Westar Energy president and chief executive officer, said. “By the end of next year, all our customers will receive about 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. Programs like this make continued expansion of renewables easy and cost-effective for our customers.”
Identifying projects, developers Solar projects submitted to the request for proposals must be between 1 and 10 megawatts, be built within Westar’s retail territory and minimize environmental impact. Developers must have a proven record of successful large-scale solar installations. Westar will consider proposals that include transfer of ownership to Westar, long-term purchase power agreements or other arrangements proposed by the developer.
Solar developers who plan to submit proposals must complete a Notice of Intent by Sept. 25, and proposals are due Oct. 19. Full details of the Solar Developer Request for Proposal can be found at http://www.westarenergy.com/RFP.