City requests proposals for Green projects

The city has issues a proposals for green energy initiatives and perhaps some additional projects for the community solar farm at the former Rockwood golf courses.

Details of the potential projects are outlined in a city Request for Proposal which was issued Oct. 18th.

The proposals asks for energy conservation measures for various city facilities through updating “outdated and obsolete building & equipment” with the idea to reduce annual utility costs. Potential city buildings listed include fire stations, city hall and other city-owned and operated buildings.

The largest electric users are Courtney Bend Water Plant (29,000,000 kWh), Rock Creek Treatment Plant (5,000,000 kWh), the Police Department (1,900,000 kWh), Sermon Center (1,200,000 kWh) and City Hall (1,000,000 kWh).

The proposal asks for a Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract, specifically allowed for government under Missouri state laws. If awarded, an Energy Services Company (ESCO) would provide a written plan outlining all potential utility cost savings and financing. Contracts can not exceed 15 years.

The city is particularly interested in solar facilities at the Courtney Bend Water Treatment Plant, which is served by Kansas City Power and Light, as a way to reduce utility costs paid to the investor-owned utility.

The idea to explore switching utilities was previously reviewed in January. Analysis by the IPL staff spelled out the impacts of undertaking the switch.

IPL staff estimated to switch utility providers could cost up to $29.5 million - $17.2 million to KCPL to take over the service and another $12.2 million for new IPL transmission line upgrades to deliver power to Courtney Bend. It also would require several regulatory approvals.

The new green proposal would generate power on site with solar arrays. This arrangement potentially could change the economic analysis, particularly if new transmission lines were unnecessary..

The green proposal also requests “ancillary neighborhood solar facilities” adjacent to the 4 MW Rockwood community solar farm. Those projects would be located on the 40 acres north of the current solar farm.

Suggested projects include solar-powered lights along walking trails around the site, backup power for the adjacent neighborhood during outages. Proposals will also be accepted from “potential development partners interested in working with the City on an innovative and ‘green’ development on this site.”

All proposals are due Nov. 14th with potential projects being recommended to the City Council Dec. 17th.