A customer-owned utility, Midwest Energy, has teamed up with a community solar developer, Clean Energy Collective (CEC), to build the first community solar power plant in Kansas. Ownership of the 1-megawatt solar power plant will be available to Midwest Energy’s ~50,000 members.

The power plant will be the largest solar power plant in Kansas and will be composed of 4,000 solar panels.

Working like a residential rooftop solar array, the power plant will be able to take advantage of tax incentives and rebates. Customers who take part in the purchase of the power plant will receive credit on their bills for the electricity produced. Meanwhile, the project can be built for less money per what than a rooftop solar array thanks to the economies of scale that come with a larger project.

In my opinion, this may be the best way to go solar. Unfortunately, the option is not widely available.

If a customer moves out of the Midwest Energy’s territory, or if they want to sell their share of the solar array back to Midwest Energy for some reason, they can.

“We’re excited to be the first utility in Kansas to offer community-owned solar to our members,” said John Blackwell, Chair of Midwest Energy’s Board of Directors.  “Our customers have signaled they’re supportive of renewable energy, and we’re pleased to bring this solar ownership opportunity to them.”