Evergy announced today that it will build a 22,000-panel solar array at its’ Hawthorn power plant in northeast Kansas City by fall 2022 as part of its Solar Subscription program.
Pending regulatory approval, the new 10MW (megawatt) array will cover 67 acres of land surrounding the existing coal-fired plant. The energy created will provide 5MW of electricity for the 1,200 Evergy customers who signed up for its Solar Subscription program and an additional 5MW for all Evergy customers. It will be one of the largest solar subscription facilities in Missouri.
The Hawthorn plant, which is located at 700 Hawthorn Road, is one of five coal-fired plants currently being operated by Evergy. Coal-fired plants represent 37 percent of Evergy’s energy generating capacity as of 2020, compared to 52 percent in 2010.
The new solar array is part of Evergy’s plan to be carbon neutral by 2045. Those plans include adding 500MW of renewable energy in the next two years and nearly 4,000MW in the next 10 years.
Currently, Evergy’s energy mix includes coal, solar, wind, natural gas, nuclear, biogas and hydro-power. Combined, it is 50-percent carbon free. Evergy plans call for the retirement of nearly all remaining coal generating plants by 2040 with the addition of nearly 4,500MWs of renewable and zero-carbon emitting resources over the second decade of the plan.
By adding solar at the existing Hawthorn site, Evergy said it will give customers access to lower-cost clean energy, compared to building at a new facility.
“Our Hawthorn power plant is a prime location to showcase Kansas City’s commitment to renewable energy and our city’s forward-thinking progress,” said Chuck Caisley, Evergy senior vice president and chief customer officer. “Bringing this renewable energy to Hawthorn will limit the expense by using infrastructure already in place.”
Evergy provides electricity to approximately 1.6-million customers in Missouri and Kansas.
Photo Rendering: Evergy and Burns & McDonnell