Solar farm goes online in Columbia City

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COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WANE) – The completion of construction on a 30-acre solar farm has been celebrated. A ribbon-cutting ceremony at Columbia City Park, near U.S. 30, was held Thursday as the 14,769 panels were put online.

The people with Indiana Municipal Power Agency built and will operate the solar far. The land was found with the help of city leaders. According to IMPA’s President Raj Rao, a 10-year tax abatement helped seal the deal on the project.

Rao told WANE 15 the energy generated at the solar park will feed into a network shared by other locations across the state. Over the course of one year, the system can power about 800 homes.

“This solar park is 4.3 megawatts, so it can power a quarter of our total powerload in Columbia City on a sunny day,” Mayor Ryan Daniel said. “It’s really great in a lot of ways. It also stabilizes our rates. We certainly know that forces in our federal government to change the direction of our power grid in general, so this really puts us in the ability to stabilize long term for our customers, our rate payers, certainly for our future.”

Daniel noted multiple times during Thursday’s ceremony that more solar farms could be built around Columbia City.

Rows of panels at Columbia City Solar Park soak in sunlight while reflecting the blue sky.

“We want to continue to do the right things with our power sources and with our power grid,” Daniel added. “We are going to be continuing to look for opportunities to expand on the green opportunities that are within and around our community.”

Other nearby cities that have solar farms that are a part of the IMPA network include Gas City and Peru.

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