by Brandon Sack
Evergy is committed to providing our customers with cost-effective, reliable renewable energy solutions to help build a more sustainable future. Evergy is committed to being 100% carbon neutral by 2045.
The Evergy Energy Partners division has decades of experience developing diverse energy solutions with substantial long-term power cost benefits for utility, municipal, cooperative, and industrial customers. The benefits are accomplished by combining an in-depth understanding of long- and short-term utility planning, operations management, experience with regulators along with unparalleled experience negotiating multiple types of energy procurement and sale agreement structures. In 2019, we unveiled the Baldwin City Solar Project, in collaboration with the City of Baldwin City and, through the construction process, were able to include Baker University faculty and students to provide a real-world project experience across diverse fields of study.
About Baldwin City, Kansas
Baldwin City is located in Kansas about 12 miles south of Lawrence and has a population of about 4,500 people. The city is home to Baker University, Kansas’ oldest four-year university. Baldwin City is working to towards a greener future for its community.
Our Goal: Real-World Experience in Baldwin’s Backyard
The City of Baldwin City partnered with Evergy to construct a solar PV array as a renewable energy solution that requires minimal annual maintenance while providing a peak power source and was able to provide a unique, real-world project experience for students attending the local university.
“The solar farm project is a great opportunity for students to gain exposure to a very interesting project almost in their own backyard. They are learning about sustainability and renewable energy. Students studying environmental science have additional opportunities for learning about the impact of such a facility on the site. Additionally, there are great real-world examples for understanding project management applications.” —Baker University Professor of Business and Economics, Kevin McCarthy
About Baldwin City Solar Array
Evergy and Baldwin City completed the solar array in September of 2019. The array is now online and generates 1 megawatt of energy for the city, which powers just over 180 homes.
- Completed in 2019
- 4.5-acre solar array
- Generates 1MW of energy
- Enough electricity to power over 180 homes
- Equivalent to saving over 130,000 gallons of fuel annually
- Equivalent to planting over 30,000 trees annually
After construction, efforts have been made to preserve the natural integrity of the site. A pollinator-friendly, native ground cover blend was planted to provide a safe and healthy bee and butterfly habitat. Additionally, a full biodiversity site assessment was conducted by Baker University students and staff to analyze the wildlife and plant life inside the solar array to ensure the area remained friendly to native plants and animals.
The solar array project was completed in partnership with Baldwin City and Baker University to provide students unique opportunities for experiential learning. Throughout the design and construction process, students participated in field study and class type, on-site learning about the planning and implementation of the project. Students from diverse fields of study were able to participate and gain real-world experience utilizing their major, from biology to business.
Baker University is a private liberal arts university and the first four-year university in Kansas. Evergy collaborated with Baldwin City to help students gain real world experiences from the installation, and continued operation of the Baldwin City Solar Array to help ensure the area becomes a healthy habitat for local flora and fauna.
Utilizing renewable energy while maintaining affordability was a top priority for Baldwin City. Thus, Evergy and the city arranged for Evergy to own and operate the solar array and provide the city with power generated from the solar array to best serve residents.
Now is the right time to invest in renewable energy for your municipality or cooperative. Learn more about Evergy Energy Partners’ renewable energy solutions.
- Brandon Sack
Brandon Sack serves as the Clean Energy Development Director at Evergy. He has been in the energy industry for over twenty-five (25) years and has gained experience through different roles in analytics, planning, energy trading and clean energy development. He was instrumental in the development and approval of Evergy Kansas’ Renewables Direct and Community Solar tariffs which both provide direct access to renewable energy to all customers. He now focuses on working with customers across the Midwest to help in their pursuit for clean, cost effective energy.