Utility-scale solar project progresses in Urbana

East-Central Iowa REC facility will have 3,024 panels

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Installation of more than 3,000 solar panels has begun at the Urbana Solar Acres facility in the BECCA Industrial Park.

East-Central Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative on Monday provided a progress update on the utility-scale solar project. When completed and operational in October, the facility will generate 1.19 million kilowatts of energy as a part of Central Iowa Power Cooperative’s 5.5-megawatt solar project.

Urbana Solar Acres will generate enough electricity to power up to 113 homes. It will be one of five solar installations within the CIPCO-member system that will be operational in 2016.

Solar panel arrays also will be installed at Eastern Iowa Light & Power Cooperative, Clarke Electric Cooperative, Consumers Energy, Midland Power Cooperative and Pella Cooperative Electric.

In late 2015, CIPCO issued a request for proposals to develop utility-scale solar facilities to be located at member cooperative sites in Iowa. The Des Moines-based member cooperative will invest about $7 million to construct the initial phase of its long-term plan to incorporate solar generation as an additional emissions-free resource within its generation assets.

CIPCO’s total solar project will provide alternating current electricity, enough to power roughly 600 Iowa homes.

CIPCO selected Azimuth Energy LLC of St. Louis, Mo., to install the photovoltaic utility-scale solar project.

East-Central Iowa REC provides electrical service to more than 8,700 residential, commercial and industrial members. The service territory spans 11 counties with 2,280 miles of electric lines.

CIPCO, with its operational headquarters in Cedar Rapids, is Iowa’s largest cooperative electricity provider serving 13 electric cooperatives and associations spanning 58 of Iowa’s 99 counties.

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