By BARBARA GREEN
The City of Bowie will take the next step in pursuing the development of a two megawatt solar array on a piece of city property by approving geotechnical testing on three potential sites.
The city council Thursday voted to enter an agreement with D&S Engineering for the testing. Last month city officials met with five developers to tour the sites with no specific site earning the majority interest of the companies. City Manager Bert Cunningham said the tests are expected to run about $21,500, with additional costs for other tests if they are needed.
Councilor Craig Stallcup suggested they require the selected developer to reimburse at least the cost for one site when they create an agreement. The city manager said he did not think they would be disagreeable with that stipulation, however, it could also impact the final power purchase agreement.
The City of Bowie obtained an amendment to its bulk power contract with Bryan Texas Utilities a little more than a year ago that will allow the city to get two megawatts of its power from another source other than BTU. The advantage to any power obtained from this source would be the lack of transmission fees on that two megawatts.
In addition the energy could help reduce the city’s peak demand. Distributors are charged a peak rate based on annual calculations from the four prime months, typically June to September, which also is the peak for solar production.
Read the full story in the weekend News.