The city council will vote on solar power contract

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COLUMBIA - The City Council is set to vote on a $28.8 million solar power contract on Monday.
The contract would be through Truman Solar, LLC, and last for 30 years.
Columbia’s 2017 renewable energy report showed the city received 12.35 percent of its power from renewable resources. The new contract with Truman Solar is estimated to increase that number by 1.9 percent.
Truman Solar would sell the power to Columbia for $44.81 per megawatt-hour. In comparison, the city spends about $60 per megawatt-hour for power produced by coal plants, according to City Councilman Michael Trapp.
"It's a way to obtain reliable renewable energy at a good cost for a long time horizon," he said.
If the contract is approved, Truman Solar would purchase or lease land and build a solar array. The city would build connectors from the Rebel Hill feeder lines to connect to the solar plant.
"It's a real great time to have brokered a deal because President Trump passed a 30 percent tariff for imported solar panels," Trapp said. "We would never be able to get the price if we negotiated that contract now that those tariffs have been announced."
Trapp estimates the price would have been about 15 percent higher.
If the council approves the contract, the solar facility would be in west Columbia just south of Interstate-70 and east of St. Charles Rd. It is projected to be completed by April 1, 2019.