HAYS, KAN.— Feb. 7, 2024 — Sunflower Electric Power Corp. is partnering on a 150-megawatt solar energy project near Fort Dodge Station, the company’s electric generating facility one mile southeast of Dodge City, Kan. Expected commercial operation is during the first half of 2026.
Sunflower is a cooperatively operated wholesale generation and transmission utility serving seven member distribution utilities located in western Kansas. The Boot Hill Solar Project will join Sunflower’s 20-megawatt Johnson Corner Solar Project (JCSP), which came online in April 2020, and Sunflower’s 20-megawatt Sunflower Electric Solar @ Russell Project, scheduled for commercial operation in January 2025, in providing solar power to Sunflower’s members and those they serve.
Because it produces on-peak energy during the hottest days of the year when the Sunflower system experiences its peak demand for electricity, the Boot Hill Solar Project will complement the company’s other generation resources, which are powered by natural gas, coal, and wind. In addition to providing on-peak renewable energy, the project will also provide the system with incremental capacity.
The Victory Electric Cooperative Assn., Inc., located in Dodge City, joins Sunflower’s six other member-owners in supporting the Boot Hill Solar Project, which will surpass the JCSP and the Sunflower Electric Solar @ Russell projects as the largest operating solar facility in the state. Strategically locating the Boot Hill Solar project near existing Sunflower assets will provide cost and schedule benefits to all of the member-owners.
“We are always glad when we can provide more value to our members,” said Shane Laws, Victory CEO, “but having what will be the state’s largest operating solar facility located in our community makes this project even more exciting. Thank you to everyone who has helped us get to this phase.”
Sunflower is partnering with Alluvial Power to design and construct the project, and the two entities have executed a power purchase agreement for the energy generated by the Boot Hill Solar Project. The facility will generate approximately 400,000 megawatt hours annually, which represents about 9% of the Sunflower system’s energy needs. The facility, located on approximately 1,000 acres in Ford County, Kansas and will have over 300,000 solar panels mounted on a single-axis solar tracking system designed to maximize the amount of energy captured from the sun.
“We are excited to bring the Boot Hill Solar Project to the Ford County community,” said Brian Kirk, an Alluvial Power executive. “Our team enjoyed collaborating with the Sunflower team, Victory and Sunflower’s other members, Ford County officials and local community members. We look forward to delivering a high-value, cost-effective resource to Sunflower’s members and system.”
Sunflower is again working with the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) of which Sunflower is a founder and member-owner. NRCO was also instrumental in bringing the JCSP to fruition and is partnering with Sunflower in developing the Sunflower Electric Solar @ Russell Project.
“NRCO is honored to support its member Sunflower in adding additional solar capacity. This project brings unique economic benefits to Sunflower’s members,” said Todd Bartling, NRCO vice president of renewables development.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2025. During the approximately one-year construction phase, the project will require approximately 200 workers at peak buildout.
“Each energy generation resource type has benefits, so Sunflower supports an all-of-the-above approach to our generation portfolio,” said Steve Epperson, Sunflower interim president and CEO. “Sunflower’s Board of Directors has carefully analyzed the factors and variables associated with adding more solar energy to our system and believes the time is right to capitalize on the economic efficiencies and other benefits of this project for our members.”
About Sunflower Electric Power Corporation
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, established in 1957, is a regional wholesale generation and transmission supplier dedicated to serving its members by providing reliable power at the lowest possible cost consistent with sound business and cooperative practices. Sunflower’s member cooperatives include Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative, Inc., Dighton; Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc., Ulysses; Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, Inc., Norton; The Victory Electric Cooperative Association, Inc., Dodge City; Western Cooperative Electric Association, Inc., WaKeeney; and Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Inc., Scott City, Kan. Southern Pioneer Electric Company, Ulysses, is also a member of Sunflower. For more information, visit sunflower.net. or Facebook, X, and YouTube social media pages.
About The Victory Electric Cooperative Assn., Inc.,
The Victory Electric Cooperative Assn., Inc., a member-owned electric distribution cooperative, is headquartered in Dodge City and serves all or parts of nine counties in southwest Kansas. Victory Electric was organized in 1945 to serve primarily farm residential services. Through the years, Victory has expanded to a broad consumer base of diversified loads ranging from industrial, commercial and irrigation loads with more than 3,100 miles of transmission and distribution line. For more information visit Victory Electric’s website at victoryelectric.net or Facebook, X, and YouTube social media pages.
About National Renewables Cooperative Organization
Formed in 2008 by 21 cooperatives, NRCO aims to increase access to cost-effective renewable energy resources for electric cooperatives around the country. NRCO provides full origination and development services for its owner-members and cooperative customers, with over 2.5 gigawatts of wind and solar projects completed to date including 60 cooperative-run community solar farms. For more information, visit nrco.coop.
About Alluvial Power
Alluvial Power delivers utility-scale energy transition solutions through a customer-first approach. For more information, see https://www.alluvialpower.com/.