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Westar solar plant to go up in Reno County

Westar Energy plans to build a solar plant in Reno County. Construction will begin in December, the utility said, with the solar plant planned to be in service in early 2017.
Westar Energy plans to build a solar plant in Reno County. Construction will begin in December, the utility said, with the solar plant planned to be in service in early 2017. Eagle file photo

Beginning early next year, Westar Energy customers will be able to power their home or business with solar energy, according to a release from the utility.

The power will come from a 1-megawatt “community solar installation,” which is planned for a site west of Hutchinson in Reno County. Construction will begin in December, the utility said, with the solar plant planned to be in service in early 2017.

Westar said it is continuing to offer subscriptions to the solar plant, with 90 percent of them already filled. Westar announced plans for the plant in early 2016.

Westar spokeswoman Gina Penzig said about 900 customers had signed up as of Thursday morning.

Participants have the choice of locking in their energy price for five to 20 years, enjoying the benefit of solar with no upfront investment, the utility said.

Details on the program are available at www.WestarEnergy.com/communitysolar. The plant will include 3,400 panels.

In June, Westar Energy, the Kansas Corporation Commission staff and Citizen Utility Ratepayers Board reached an agreement to allow construction to begin on the project.

Workers are installing a solar panel array to provide power to the Edmund Stanley Library, part of a Westar Energy grant program to raise awareness of solar energy around Kansas. (April 7, 2016)

Bryan Horwath: 316-269-6708, @bryan_horwath

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