Fact Finders: Will Solar Farm go in at James River Power Plant site?

The James River Power Plant first opened in 1957.
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 9:43 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The City of Springfield is moving closer to hiring a consultant for the Lake Springfield Master Plan. The area includes the decommissioned James River Power Plant. So, one of our viewers wants to know will City Utilities make plans to generate solar power at the former coal plant?

The James River Power Plant first opened in 1957. City Utilities decommissioned the plant in 2018. And, as you know, the exhaust stacks just came down in February. Soon, a consultant will start looking at recommendations for the plant and a large area around it.

They’re considering recreation choices, infrastructure, and economic development options in the lake’s roughly one thousand acres. Again, the area that will be studied includes the 100 acres the power plant building sits on. Joel Alexander with City Utilities says solar is NOT out of the question at the plant site.

“One of the things that our folks do is look ahead at what the possible options for the next power generation resource are going to be. So they’re constantly looking at that. So I think everything, for the most part, is on the table at this time, solar, is probably the most readily available option that we can put in up there,” explained Alexander.

The Lake Springfield Master Plan committee is expected to announce the choice of a consultant in July. Then, we can expect recommendations for the area by the Summer of 2024.

Circling back to the viewer’s question; will CU make plans to generate solar power at the former coal plant?

CU is looking at solar. But, the utility is weighing all the options right now for power production. So, it’s too early to rate this as a YES or NO.

If you have something you want us to investigate, email us at factfinders@ky3.com.

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