Iowa’s largest solar array debuts in rural Kalona

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So bright!
The Kalona array, built by Eagle Point Solar, covers approximately 4.5 acres.

Farmers Electric Cooperative and Eagle Point Solar will host the grand opening of the largest solar field in Iowa tomorrow at 10 a.m. at 1956 520th St. in rural Kalona.

The solar array will house 2,900 solar panels and is set to generate 800 kilowatts, totaling one million kilowatt hours of energy annually for Farmer’s Electric Cooperative customers. According Warren McKenna, manager at Farmers Electric Cooperative, this is enough energy to power about 123 homes.

The event will feature opening remarks from energy leaders, including Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Naig and the manager of the World Bank’s Global Agriculture Practice, Mark Cackler.

“The land was acquired with a Purchase Power Agreement with Eagle Point Solar of Dubuque. The cooperative will buy the power generated from the solar panels from Eagle Point and at the end of 10 years it will belong to the cooperative,” McKenna said.

Farmers Electric Cooperative, formed in 1916, is based in Frytown, Iowa. The company works to ensure that farmers have access to reliable energy, and supplements the power it distributes with renewable sources.

The cooperative hopes to generate 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.

The array dwarfs Iowa’s previous leader in solar power generation, located in Decorah. The facility, leased by Luther College and built by Dragonfly Solar in 2012, hosts 1,250 solar panels and generates 355,000 Kilowatt hours of electricity, annually.

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