New solar panels proposed for east Columbia
COLUMBIA – A new solar power agreement between the city of Columbia and a renewable energy company will provide more solar energy to the city.
The plan by Cypress Creek Renewables, called the Truman Solar project, would build 44,000 solar panels on an 88-acre plot of land just south of I-70 and Demaret Drive.
The new solar panels will increase the city’s renewable energy percentage by 1.9 percent.
Columbia resident Jay Neilson said, “Columbia has always seemed to be a forerunner in the area of alternative energy and renewable energy. I’ve seen a lot of windmills and solar panels going up in a lot of places.”
City laws require 25 percent of Columbia’s energy come from renewable sources by 2023. This project will generate more than 10-times the current amount of renewable energy produced by the city.
City planner Rusty Palmer said the project would also require nature preservation. He said the city mandates 25 percent of existing trees to be preserved from construction.
Development services manager Patrick Zenner said the city council’s final vote will take place in August. He said the plans will be open for public comment in a month.
The city’s proposed contract states the solar field must be live by April 1, 2019.