The Fremont Community Solar Farm project has generated a lot of interest.
And it continues to do so.
The first solar farm is sold out, but local residents are encouraged to go to Fremont Department of Utilities and get their names on a waiting list for the second solar farm.
So far, 22 people are on that waiting list.
The size of the next farm would be determined by the participants on the list, said Lottie Mitchell, executive assistant to the Fremont City Administrator.
Going on the waiting list doesn’t commit someone to participating, it just lets the utilities department know the person is interested in the second farm.
Those on the waiting list will have priority for signups, she said.
Signups for the second solar farm wouldn’t start until the spring of 2018.
The second solar farm is expected to be completed next year.
“We hope to have it on line by October of 2018,” Mitchell said.
The first solar farm, which has more than 200 participants, is expected to be online by January. The farm has approximately 4,900 panels and is situated between First Street and Jack Sutton Drive and will be behind the utilities department warehouse.
“If the demand is there for another farm of that size, that’s what we’ll go with, but it will depend on the demand,” Mitchell said.
The first solar farm is expected to produce 1.5 megawatts.
By comparison, the coal-fired power plant is capable of producing more than 125 megawatts.
“This solar farm is a small portion of our energy mix, but we are happy to be able to offer it,” Mitchell said.
People have been interested in the solar farm, because it’s good for the environment.
“There is a potential for cost savings, depending on which participation level you choose, but the biggest drive is the green energy,” Mitchell said. “It reduces CO2 emissions for cleaner air to breathe and to help protect the Ozone.”
The Ozone layer around the earth serves as a shield from the harmful ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation emitted by the sun.
To be put on the waiting list visit the utilities office on the second floor of the Fremont Municipal building at 400 E. Military Ave.
Work continues to progress on the first solar farm.
“They’re removing the trees, replanting them,” Mitchell said. “They’re discing up the grass so we can get the proper grass mix for the solar farm and installation of the equipment should start within the next month.”