KCP&L wants to use ground-mounted solar panels for the project at its Greenwood Energy Center.

KCP&L wants to use ground-mounted solar panels for the project at its Greenwood Energy Center.

Kansas City is saying yes to solar energy.

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L), a utility serving over 800,000 customers in northwestern Missouri and eastern Kansas, has partnered with Sungevity to build its first large-scale solar power plant. The project is expected to generate 4,700 megawatt-hours of electricity a year. That’s enough to power 440 homes with sunshine!

Working with KCP&L is a natural fit for Sungevity. Sungevity’s office in Kansas City, our second US location, opened earlier in 2015 just blocks away from KCP&L’s headquarters. Sungevity’s office has already grown to over 200 employees – outpacing hiring predictions for the year – and we expect to create 595 jobs total in downtown Kansas City over the next 5 years.

This solar project is one of many upgrades KCP&L is making to its energy portfolio to meet new emissions standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In January 2015, KCP&L announced plans to stop burning coal at three power plants, effectively retiring 700 megawatts of coal-fired generation.

The Kansas City metropolitan area spans the border between Missouri and Kansas. When it comes to solar energy, Missouri is the leader of the two states, having 120 megawatts of solar power capacity installed so far and ranking 18th nationwide. Comparatively, Kansas only has 2.5 megawatts of generating capacity installed and ranks 43rd nationwide, but the state is heading for major growth: in 2014, Kansas invested $4 million in solar and installed 1.5 megawatts, a 118% increase over the previous year. Today, there is enough solar energy between the two states to power 13,340 homes.

Read more in The Kansas City Star.

Posted by Leslye Penticoff

Leslye is the Content and Community Manager for Sungevity. She's also an avid coffee drinker and rock climber, and serves on the Board of Directors at Margination, a nonprofit in Troy, NY.