North Little Rock-based renewable energy company Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) announced Tuesday (Nov. 17) it will build 20 solar arrays in southeastern Kansas.
The Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program comprises a series of solar arrays with a combined more than 20 megawatts of generating capacity and will be TPI’s first arrays in the state. TPI also has arrays in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
TPI has a 25-year agreement with 12 electric cooperatives in Kansas to build the arrays in a region spanning 800 miles of the state. The arrays will provide the electric cooperatives with low-up-front cost to provide solar energy to customers and reduce their peak demand.
TPI is expected to start construction on the arrays in 2021 and should be completed in 2022. The projects are in the engineering phase.
Recently, the wholesale power contract between the participating electric cooperatives and Kansas Electric Power Cooperatives was modified to allow them to self-procure up to 15% of peak demand, with 5% of that amount allowing for the addition of solar.
TPI was selected as the project developer after the cooperatives requested proposals in a process that was administered by GDS & Associates. All systems TPI will install will provide about 1-megawatt of generating capacity. The cooperatives will purchase the electricity generated by the arrays through the 25-year agreement, which can be extended by five years.
Participating cooperatives include 4 Rivers Electric Cooperative Inc., Ark Valley Electric Cooperative Association, Bluestern Electric Cooperative Inc., Butler Electric Cooperative, CMS Electric Cooperative Inc., DS&O Electric Cooperative, FreeState Electric Cooperative Inc., Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative Inc., Ninnescah Rural Electric Cooperative Inc., Sedgwick County Electric Cooperative Association Inc., Sumner-Cowley Electric Cooperative Inc. and Twin Valley Electric Cooperative Inc.
TPI was created in November 2014 by Arkansas Electric Cooperative Inc., a Little Rock-based utility service cooperative owned by 17 Arkansas electric distribution cooperatives. TPI has built solar arrays for 15 of the 17 electric cooperatives in Arkansas.