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Gardner Capital to develop Nixa’s 72-acre solar farm

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Last edited 12:38 p.m., June 22, 2017

Springfield-based Gardner Capital Inc. is developing what city of Nixa officials describe as the largest solar farm in Missouri.

The 2014-founded Gardner Capital Solar Development, a unit of the investment firm, is working with Lee’s Summit-based MC Power Cos., its hired contractor and operator. O’Fallon-based solar developer Solexus Development LLC originally entered a power-purchase agreement with Nixa, but later turned it over to Cypress Creek Renewables. Gardner Capital then bought the rights, said Nixa spokesman Drew Douglas. He was unsure when Gardner Capital purchased the project rights, and terms of the deal were not included in a news release.

Officials with Gardner Capital could not be reached for comment by deadline. According to GardnerCapital.com/solar, the company has installed more than 100 megawatts of solar power through 17 projects. Its portfolio includes a 3.2-megawatt solar farm in Rolla and a 3.3-megawatt project in Trenton. The Nixa project is designed to generate 7.9 megawatts.

The Nixa solar farm has been in the works since at least 2014.

The city scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. June 27 at 1565 W. Mt. Vernon St. on farm land owned by state Sen. Jay Wasson, according to the release.

Nixa purchases much of its power from City Utilities of Springfield and other sources. Nixa officials said the city will realize savings of $2.5 million over the 25-year life of the solar farm contract with Gardner Capital.

Construction is underway at the solar farm, where Nixa officials expect to start buying power by year’s end, according to the release.

When completed, the farm will have 33,288 solar panels that generate more than 15 million kilowatt hours per year. That equates to roughly 9 percent of Nixa’s annual energy consumption.

The project also is projected to reduce Nixa’s carbon footprint by 10,542 metric tons per year, the equivalent of 11 million pounds of coal, according to the release.

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