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Columbia and Fulton working on solar energy contract

Columbia Solar Panel
ABC 17 news
Columbia Solar Panel


Some Fulton officials want the city to start using renewable energy by entering a contract with the City of Columbia and Boone Stephens Solar.

The Fulton Utility Board has recommended its city council to move forward with the contract.

Fulton has looked into using solar and wind power for a while but it hasn’t made financial sense until now, the mayor said Friday.

"Over the last five years it’s been getting better but we’ve seen it drop from $70 to about $30 (per gigawatt of power)," Fulton Mayor Lowe Cannell said. "At this time, it makes very good financial sense as well as environmental sense."

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, between 2010 and 2019 more than 500 U.S. power companies announced the retirement of coal-fired power units.

Fulton is locked into many different contracts with coal providers that will last decades but the city is looking for other ways to use more renewable energy.

"If the contract goes through like it says we would be required to take 5 percent approximately of whatever power the farm produces," Cannell said. "Any given day it could vary but generally its that’s the way we think it’s going to be set up."

The contract still has to be signed and approved by the Fulton and Columbia city councils. The contract if approved won't go into effect until 2023.

Fulton residents wouldn't see an impact on their electricity bills as the new solar power would be in line with what they are paying now, Cannell said.

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Amber Tabeling

Amber joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in December 2019. She was a student-athlete at Parkland College and Missouri Valley College. She hails from a small town in Illinois.


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