Chadron Council Sadly Officially Rejects Community Solar Power Project Proposals


     The Chadron City Council last night officially accepted the recommendation from Nebraska Public Power District to reject all the proposals received from developers for the city’s proposed Community Solar Power project. 

    NPPD and the city signed a letter of intent back in 2019 for a 1.3-megawatt solar array with local customers quickly signing up for the full amount of power, but a variety of issues stalled progress multiple times.

      NPPD sent a formal Request for Proposals to private developers last year, but all 6 who responded came in above NPPD’s current average production cost of $58 per megawatt hour.

      If the project went ahead and its production cost was higher than NPPD’s, the city would be responsible for the share of any customers who dropped out.

       NPPD put out a new RFP that included a second option for a smaller project, but those responding were again well above the $58 figure with the lowest coming in at over $83 per kilowatt hour.

     Chadron Mayor George Klein says the entire council is disappointed that things didn’t work out for the project.

The city currently has an option on the proposed solar site – 10-acres southwest of town off Goffena Road. The option is set to expire at the end of the year and Klein expects significant council discussion on it in the coming months.

Retired Chadron State College professor and former Dawes County Commissioner Roger Wess urged the council last night not to just discard the community solar concept and the planning that’s already been done.

     Wess, a strong early supporter of the proposal, expressed hope the city would find a way to preserve it in a form that can be resurrected if all the factors do finally come together and make the project economically viable.