A ground-breaking ceremony for a solar farm in the southeast part of Chillicothe, just outside the city limits, will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 25.
A ground-breaking ceremony for a solar farm in the southeast part of Chillicothe, just outside the city limits, will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 25. Groundwork on the 23-acre site began recently and materials for the racking system for the solar panels are scheduled to arrive Monday. Crews will be on site Tuesday and are slated to start installing posts. The solar panels will then be installed and the panels wired together and underground conduit laid. Company officials anticipate the project to be substantially completed within 10 to 12 weeks, and actual production to start within a week to 10 days after substantial completion. The company, MC Power Company, is installing a 3.2 megawatt solar farm that will include approximately 9,720 solar panels rated at 335 watts each. Electricity from the farm will go into the CMU electric distribution system, according to CMU General Manager Jim Gillilan. MC Power Company officials estimate that the solar farm will generate enough electricity in a year’s time to power 300 average-size homes. The solar farm is located south of East Third Street and east of Mitchell Avenue. Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 366 East Third Street. The event is being coordinated by MC Power Companies, in conjunction with the city of Chillicothe, Chillicothe Municipal Utilities, Livingston County, Missouri Public Utility Alliance, and Gardner Capital, Inc. MC Power Company currently operates solar farms in the Missouri communities of Butler, Trenton, Macon, Marshall, Waynesville and Rolla. The company yesterday (Thursday) conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of a solar farm in Independence. Other farms are planned for Lebanon and Higginsville. All are similar in size. Loren Williamson, senior vice president of project development for MC Power Companies, which is based in Lee’s Summit, stated that solar farms are economic tools for communities. “It is an economic development catalyst for the community and an educational tool,” he said, noting that prospective companies are drawn to communities that utilizing renewable resources. “They look for foward-thinking communities,” Williamson said. “It puts communities in the upper echelon.” Williamson also stated that the company is looking forward to being a part of Chillicothe. “We have a contract to operate and maintain the facility for 20 years,” he said. “MC Power Company has always believed in being a part of the community. We will be a member of the community.” In appreciation of the efforts of the Livingston County Commission, the city of Chillicothe and Chillicothe Municipal Utilities, the company will present Main Street Chillicothe a $5,000 check at the groundbreaking ceremony, followed by a second $5,000 check to the organization when the site is dedicated. “It is exciting to be part of the project in Chillicothe,” Williamson said. Once completed, there is minimal on-site maintenance.