Hutchinson, Kan., July 13, 2017 – Sunshine was the star of the show today as Westar Energy Community Solar Sponsored by Hormel® Natural Choice® was celebrated.
A crowd including state and local leaders and representatives from Westar Energy, Dold Foods and SoCore Energy gathered to cut the ribbon on Westar’s first universal solar power plant. The 1.2 megawatt installation comprises nearly 4,000 panels and gives customers the choice to receive some of their electricity from solar without installing private generation.
“Working together we can expand renewable energy in Kansas efficiently and affordably,” said Greg Greenwood, Westar Energy senior vice president, strategy. “Community solar introduces new choices for our customers and makes it possible for any customer to have some of their energy from the sun.”
“SoCore is honored to have worked with Westar Energy to bring reliable and cost efficient renewable energy to the local community and to meet the needs of a great business like Hormel,” said Russell Young, senior vice president of operations of Chicago-based SoCore Energy, which developed and will own and operate the solar facility. “Solar is now a clear part of the Hutchinson economy, generating locally produced power which provides affordable energy choices to meet the needs of residents and businesses alike.”
About 20 percent of the solar energy from this facility in South Hutchinson is being used at Dold Foods in Wichita, where Hormel® Natural Choice® bacon products are prepared and packaged.
“Supporting renewable energy helps us achieve our company’s goal to reduce non-renewable energy use by 10 percent by 2020, and is also important to the Hormel® Natural Choice® bacon brand,” said Joe Peine, plant manager, Dold Foods. “We are proud to support the generation of clean, renewable energy through community solar. Community solar is beneficial to the air quality of our communities, helps to create jobs and provides for the local economy.”
Energy from the community solar plant is available by subscription to Westar Energy customers. Full details and program enrollment are available at www.WestarEnergy.com/communitysolar.
The 1.2 megawatt Community Solar installation comprises nearly 4,000 panels and is the equivalent of about 200 average residential private solar installations.
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As Kansas’ largest electric utility, Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) provides customers the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. Half the electricity supplied to the company’s 700,000 customers comes from emissions-free sources – nuclear, wind and solar - with a third coming from renewables. Westar is a leader in electric transmission in Kansas, coordinating a network of lines and substations that support one of the largest consolidations of wind energy in the nation. For more information about Westar Energy, visit www.WestarEnergy.com.
SoCore Energy (www.SoCoreEnergy.com) is a market leader in commercial, industrial and distributed solar portfolio development. With hundreds of solar solutions designed and installed across more than 20 States, SoCore offers commercial and industrial companies, electric cooperatives and communities portfolio-wide solar solutions that provide renewable energy solutions that deliver energy cost savings and carbon reduction opportunities. As a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Edison International, SoCore combines Edison’s Fortune 500 stability with entrepreneurial creativity in order to provide energy solutions that its customers genuinely want and need.
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