Solar power plan takes the spotlight

A company has proposed building a solar plant as part of the city's energy portfolio The high cost of natural gas makes a solar plant more cost effective than when a similar one was proposed in 2019.

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March 31, 2022 - 3:12 PM

This map shows where a proposed solar farm could be located, with buffer areas. Photo by PRIORITY POWER

Iola City Council members have two weeks to once again chew on a proposal that would integrate solar power into the city’s energy portfolio after hearing a proposal Monday for a 4-megawatt solar plant on the west edge of town. 

Iola’s energy consultant Scott Shreve and Rick Borry of Priority Power Management LLC — the company that would build the plant and control it for at least the first five years — explained the advantages to the city, namely the ability to secure a block of electricity for a known amount for at least 30 years.

The cost would vary, depending on the timeline explained, from $4.5 million due in five years, or $3.6 million in 10.

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