Solar Power Shines At Winfield

June 4, 2018

By Rebecca McCutcheon
The Cowley Courier Traveler
Posted on June 4, 2018

The Kansas Power Pool is considering a measure that would make it easier for member cities to take on community solar energy projects, a KPP representative told the Winfield City Commission on Thursday.

The measure, if approved, would allow the power pool to cover half the cost for member cities to install a small solar facility of 25 kilowatts or smaller, KPP director Mark Chesney said. This size facility would take up less than a half acre of land, maybe even only one-tenth of an acre, Chesney said.

Currently, KPP representatives are visiting member cities to gauge interest in the project.

Commissioner Phil Jarvis and Mayor Greg Thompson expressed interest in learning more about a solar facility.

Having a solar facility could provide educational opportunities for local students, utilities director Gus Collins said.

Chesney said it’s a good idea to get comfortable with solar power.

“We’re going to see really a swell in the next few years. I don’t think we ought to be left behind,” Chesney said.

Chesney thinks there are five or six members that would be interested in installing solar facilities.

The KPP funding would come from bond payments members are making on an earlier project.

Other items discussed included:

• A potential conflict of interest with a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). A property owned by city building inspector Rod Haney was chosen to receive rental rehabilitation funds provided by the grant.

Normally, Haney would perform the building inspection, but in this case, inspection duties will be assigned to community services director Patrick Steward. A public hearing will be held on the potential conflict at the beginning of the 5:30 p.m. Monday commission meeting.

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