Evergy and FreeState Electric Cooperative celebrated the start of construction on the Crooked Post Solar Project, one of three projects the utility providers are partnering on.
The groundbreaking was held at the largest of the three arrays, the FreeState Crooked Post solar site off Auburn Road. That site and the two others will serve FreeState members by providing a combined 3.4 megawatts of renewable energy. The other sites will be located near Silver Lake and potentially in Osage County.
FreeState selected Evergy to build and operate three solar arrays through a power purchase agreement (PPA). The PPA allows FreeState to access renewable energy from solar for all its members at a competitive rate. Evergy was selected through a competitive bid process.
“All our members can benefit from FreeState’s solar production, not only members who choose to invest in their own solar,” said Chris Parr, CEO of FreeState Electric Cooperative. “By being a member of FreeState, you are powered by a percentage of solar energy that is not only clean but also economical. As a distribution cooperative, FreeState purchases all the power used by our members, and now we can add solar into our energy purchases — and that means everyone benefits.”
FreeState’s solar arrays help the cooperative manage peak demand set on the hottest summer days — when solar production is high. FreeState can purchase low-cost clean energy and reduce dependency on other energy resources while focusing on reliability. When these arrays are built, FreeState will also invest in upgraded and new infrastructure to ensure power is reliably delivered to customers.