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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Here comes the sun, Newberry.

The city commission voted on May 28 to participate in a solar project proposed by the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA).

The city will purchase up to one megawatt of solar power, enough to power about 200 homes, from a solar farm estimated to be completed in 2020, said Jamie Jones, director of utilities and public works in Newberry.

“We would be buying a portion of our power. It by no means would satisfy all the needs that we have,” said Jones. “But that portion that we would be buying would be used for the city of Newberry, some of the street lights, lift stations, things of that nature.”

Newberry is a member of FMPA, a joint power agency comprised of power providers and power plants across Florida that members can get power from, Jones said.

“The cost, the location and the ultimate size depends on ongoing negotiations with the solar developer as well as prospective participants like the city of Newberry,” said Mark McCain, a spokesperson for the agency.

FMPA has requested proposals from solar farm developers interested in building the solar plant, McCain said. Once the agency finalizes negotiations, it will move on with the solar project.

The energy from the solar farm will be transported to Newberry through the statewide electric transmission system, which passes energy through power lines.

The plan for the new development will be similar to the Florida Municipal Solar Project, a joint project of 12 cities, including Alachua and Ocala, that will purchase power from three solar farms built in Osceola and Orange Counties, according to the agency’s website.

This story has been corrected to reflect the proper spelling of Jamie Jones. The Alligator regrets the error. 

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