Johnson Corner Solar Project Update
Largest solar farm in Kansas starts commercial operation
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation’s rural co-op members now enjoying clean, cost-effective energy from facility built, owned and operated by Lightsource BP
Story provided by Steve Hausler, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation
Sunny days that will soon be transformed into electricity are also keeping the construction progress of the Johnson Corner Solar Project on schedule. The project is being built in Stanton County near the town of Johnson City.
Construction of the 20 megawatt (MW) solar farm, owned and operated by Lightsource BP, is in full swing with about 200 construction contractors currently on site. As of Jan. 20, crews had completed construction of 366 of the 893 tracker rows and installed 18,182 of the 75,012 solar panels that will be installed on the site.
Sunflower will purchase the power from this Lightsource BP project, which upon completion will be the largest solar farm in Kansas. Lightsource BP is one of the largest owners and operators of solar power facilities in the world and the project at Johnson Corner is one of their first projects in North America.
The location of the site in the far southwest corner of Kansas was chosen since the area has the highest level of solar irradiance in the state. Solar irradiance is a measure of the rate at which solar energy falls onto a surface, like a solar panel that absorbs the sun’s rays and converts them into electricity.
The location of the solar project will also provide a solution to a transmission issue in the area according to Sunflower’s Corey Linville, vice president of power supply and delivery.
“The Syracuse-Bear Creek 115 kV transmission line just north of Johnson Corner is nearing its facility rating limit and would have been in need of a $8-12 million upgrade,” Linville said. “The injection of energy from JCSP at Johnson Corner will ease loading on this line and defer or eliminate the need for the upgrade.”
The project is expected to be energized in late March or early April.