Large solar power farm proposed in southwest Missouri

Monday, February 10, 2014 | 4:33 p.m. CST; updated 9:02 p.m. CST, Monday, February 10, 2014

NIXA — Nixa city officials are considering a proposal to build what would be the state's largest solar power farm near the southwest Missouri city.

If approved, the 7.92-megawatt power plant would be built on 72 acres just west of Nixa city limits on land leased from Republican state Sen. Jay Wasson, The Springfield News-Leader reported.

Solexus president David Bunge told the Nixa City Council last week that his company negotiates for North Carolina-based Strata Solarx. Solexus is proposing a 25-year contract with Nixa.

The city of Springfield has a contract with Strata Solar for a 4.95-megawatt solar plant, which has a tentative groundbreaking in March.

Nixa Director of Public Works Doug Colvin said a solar power plant could lower the amount the city currently pays to City Utilities.

"Right off the bat it's going to lower your fuel cost by the percentage of power (consumed) per year. That's going to be in that calculation. It's not going to be a huge number, but ... it will lower those fuel costs," Colvin said.

Colvin said on a hot day, a 7.92-megawatt power plant could meet up to 16.5 percent of Nixa's peak demand for electricity.

Bunge said the farm could expand to produce more electricity in the future.

While Strata Solar would pay the costs of building the solar farm, Nixa would need to pay an estimated $184,700 to a contractor to connect the farm to the power grid.

The Nixa council will decide on the solar power contract after a cost/benefit analysis is completed.


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