KCP&L Greater Missouri seeks okay for 3-MW solar project at existing plant site

KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Co. (GMO) applied Nov. 12 at the Missouri Public Service Commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CCN) authorizing it to construct, install, own, operate, maintain and otherwise control and manage solar production and related facilities near Greenwood, Missouri.

The 300-acre project site, already owned by the company, is located within GMO’s certificated service territory approximately 2.5 miles south of Highway 50 on Smart Road. The site includes the existing Greenwood Energy Center consisting of four General Electric 7B combustion turbines, along with associated fuel oil tanks and switchyard. The proposed site of the solar plant will be on the farmland just to the north of the existing combustion turbines.

The proposed electrical production facility will consist of the solar panels and support structures, transformer/inverter skids, switchgear, physical security (including fencing, lighting, and cameras), and a communications shelter. The total plant nameplate capacity is approximately 3 MW (ac). The on-site switchgear will be connected to the distribution line at the station.

Construction of the facility is planned to be completed by April 2016. When in production, the facility will produce approximately 4,700 megawatt-hours annually. Building the solar plant within this timeframe takes advantage of the currently available Investment Tax Credit for solar and equipment prices at a time where the market is potentially more reasonable, rather than waiting until a time when the market prices itself against new mandates under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the company told the commission.

A cost estimate for the project has been prepared by Sungevity, the design engineer for the facility, but that figure was redacted from the public version of the application.

The application noted: “Construction of the Project would be an additional renewable energy resource in GMO’s generation portfolio, furthering GMO’s commitment to renewable energy. GMO currently has no utility scale solar in its generation portfolio. Construction of the Project will allow GMO to gain hands-on solar operation and maintenance skills. The Project is anticipated to have a capacity of 3 MW AC and an 18% capacity factor, and will generate enough energy to provide approximately 5,875 solar renewable energy credits (‘SRECS’) annually. GMO anticipates it will be able to meet its solar renewable requirements with SRECS acquired from customer generators through 2026. At that time, the solar generation from the Greenwood solar facility will be available to meet known current solar renewable compliance requirements as well as any future mandates. The location of the Project is desirable because it will provide environmental benefits, as well as providing a diversified energy resource to serve the community.”

The commission in a Nov. 13 order set a Dec. 7 deadline for any party to intervene in this case, noting that GMO is asking for a final commission decision by Jan. 31 of next year.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.