Kansas City Power & Light got the go-ahead Thursday from Missouri regulators to build its first commercial-scale solar plant, in Jackson County south of Kansas City.
KCP&L’s Greater Missouri Operations Co., which serves 316,000 customers in territories outside Kansas City, applied in November to build the plant near Greenwood. Its prospective 4,700 megawatt-hours of energy a year would be enough to power 440 customers.
Although the plant is relatively small, it is large enough to provide experience and training operating a commercial plant, the utility said.
KCP&L said it hopes to meet its initial goal to have the plant up and running in April, though the approval from the Missouri Public Service Commission said the plant could be operating by late July.
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Construction of the solar array plant is fairly straightforward, a utility spokeswoman said, and will be on about 12 acres KCP&L already owns as part of its Greenwood Energy Center. KCP&L has three generating turbines there powered by natural gas, so it also has employees, transmission lines and other infrastructure on the site.
The Public Service Commission also approved several commercial and residential energy efficiency programs KCP&L requested. The utility said it hopes soon to release details of the programs, which it said fits well with the solar plant as efforts to bolster sustainable energy supplies.