Planning and Zoning approves large solar farm in east Columbia

COLUMBIA, Mo. - On Thursday the Planning and Zoning Commission voted 7-0 to approve an 88-acre solar farm in east Columbia just south of I-70.

The Truman Solar project by Cypress Creek Renewables would involve 44,000 solar panels able to rotate while the sun moves east to west. Columbia Water & Light estimates that the project will generate 23,000 megawatt hours, or a unit of energy that can be used continuously for one hour.

City law mandates 25 percent of Columbia's energy come from renewable sources by 2023. A recent 2018 report found current solar sources only account for .12 percent. This development is expected to generate about 1.9 percent. 

If built, the city plans to pay Cypress Creek Renewables $44.81 per MWh, which should be a little more than $1 million each year. Water and Light is also planning to build a $1.4 million extension from its Rebel Hill substation to the Truman project.

The plan now heads to the city council, where a vote could come as early as next month.

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