Columbia Water and Light Looks to Expand Solar Energy

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Water and Light proposed a plan to expand solar energy sites this evening.

Water and Light held an interested parties meeting at the Activity and Recreation Center in Columbia. Water and Light staff was on hand to address any questions or concerns community members had about the project.

Connie Kacprowicz, the Columbia Water and Light Utility Services Specialist, said there are many benefits to expanding the solar sites in Columbia.

"Tonight is to let people know what the project looks like, what it could potentially look like when it's expanded," Kacrpowicz said. "The area's already fenced in, so it's ready to install more solar panels."

In addition to Water and Light's 2014 Renewable Energy Report, the Columbia City Council revised Water and Light's renewable energy ordinance in January. The revision included an increase in the percentage of required renewable energy to 15 percent. Kacprowicz said that if Water and Light wants to reach 15 percent, the expansion of solar energy is a great way to do so.

"Solar is a great resource for us, but we need to make sure that we get the amount of money that it's going to cost and make sure that the public's okay with us expanding the site," said Kacprowicz.

Water and Light still needs to get approval for the project from the Columbia City Council. The council will determine if expanding the solar site is in the public's best interest.