BPU offers community solar program for commercial customers

The Board of Public Utilities has opened its BPU Community Solar Farm to commercial utility customers.

The solar farm has nearly 4,000 photovoltaic solar panels.

Commercial customers now will be able to have access to solar energy through the BPU’s solar farm program, that makes it affordable and accessible to everyone, a spokesman stated.

Previously, the community solar farm program was available only to residential customers.

“We are pleased to now offer BPU commercial customers the option of utilizing renewable solar energy that is produced right here in Wyandotte County,” said Don Gray, general manager of BPU, in a news release. “The Community Solar Farm provides simple, affordable access to solar energy for the entire community, with participants benefiting from reduced costs on their electric bills and the knowledge that they are reducing their individual carbon footprint.”

The BPU scores high on the renewable energy scale, with 45 percent of its power generation from renewable energy sources including wind, hydropower, landfill gas and solar.

Each of the 3,780 individual solar panels in BPU’s 1,000 KW Community Solar Farm will eliminate 12 tons of CO2, according to the spokesman. That’s the equivalent of reducing single automobile emissions of 23,500 miles, planting 278 trees, or recycling 37 tons of waste versus placing it in a landfill.

Commercial BPU customers will be able to lease from one to 500 solar panels over a multi-year period depending on the size of that commercial customer, while receiving a credit of approximately $3.20 a month for each panel on their utility bill. An initial one-time lease fee of $470 applies throughout the 25-year life of the farm, with the user option of selling the individual panel back to BPU if a participant moves out of the service area.

For more information on this new program, go to www.bpu.com/solar, call 913-573-9997, or email BPU at solarpanels@bpu.com.

The BPU also will hold a free solar seminar for Kansas City, Kansas, residents on Tuesday, April 16.

The seminar will take place at the West Wyandotte Public Library, 1737 N. 82nd St., Kansas City, Kansas. Two sessions will take place, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. April 16.