March 29, 2022—Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and the Russell County Commission came to agreement on a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for the first ten years of the Sunflower @ Russell Solar Project on March 21.
Since current Kansas law provides a 10-year property tax exemption for renewable energy projects, Sunflower offered a PILOT to the county. The payment illustrates Sunflower’s appreciation for the ability to site the project in Russell County and helps to support the county’s infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, that will be used during the construction of the solar facility.
Next steps include finalizing the Generation Interim Interconnection Agreement with the Southwest Power Pool and determining whether Sunflower will self-build or contract with a third party. At each juncture, the Sunflower Board of Directors will evaluate the project to ensure it remains in the best interest of Sunflower’s member-owners and the thousands of Kansans they serve.
Feb. 7, 2022—Sunflower Electric Power Corporation applied for a Solar Energy System Permit in Russell County on Feb. 7, 2022. Sunflower plans to develop the Sunflower Electric Solar @ Russell project, a 20-megawatt solar farm located three miles east of Russell. The next step for the project, expected to be commercially available by the last part of 2023, is for the Russell County Commission to review and approve the Solar Energy System Permit.
Sunflower is a cooperatively operated wholesale generation and transmission utility serving seven member distribution utilities with a diverse fuel electric generation mix, including traditional and renewable resources. The Russell project is the second solar development by Sunflower. The 20-MW Johnson Corner Solar Project came online in April 2020 and is the largest operating solar facility in the state of Kansas.
Gov. Laura Kelly and Sen. Elaine Bowers voiced their support for the new solar development.
“Kansas is uniquely positioned to lead the way in the development and expansion of clean and renewable energy,” Kelly said. “I am pleased to see this project move forward. Kansas must have a diverse renewable energy portfolio as we power our future and grow our rapidly changing economy.”
“I commend Sunflower in its efforts to build a second 20-MW solar array in the state,” Bowers said. “As the need for electricity continues to grow, I’m pleased to see that Kansas is taking a great part in developing more resources.”
Sunflower is again developing the project with the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) of which Sunflower is a member-owner.
“It’s a good day any time we can capitalize on Kansas resources for the good of our communities, state, and beyond,” Rep. Troy Waymaster said, “but it’s especially exciting to see it happening near my hometown. Russell County continues to embrace changes that bring benefits today and well into the future.”
The public is invited to learn about the project during a come-and-go, informational gathering at Fossil Creek Hotel and Suites, 1430 S. Fossil St., from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2022.
Click here to download facts about the project
Click here to download the trifold flyer about the project
Click here to download the site location map
Click here to download the news release
Click here to download the invitation to the public gathering on Feb. 15th in Russell