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New solar farm debuts in Bartow; will power 5 to 6 percent of city

Posted: 2:58 PM, Mar 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-16 20:51:42Z

The future is here for anyone living in Bartow.

The city unveiled a brand new solar farm, which will power 5-6% of the city’s annual energy requirements. 

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This ranks Bartow in the top ten largest municipal solar facilities in the entire state of Florida. 

“You’re really farming the sun is what you’re doing,” City of Bartow Mayor, James F. Clements is truly and personally impressed with the structure.

The idea, born 10 years ago, has finally come to life. Something the city manager, George Long has been waiting for.

“We look at the solar power as a hedge against future increases in the price of traditional fuel, like natural gas,” Long said. 

Both population growth and increasing demand were reasons the city wanted to take a step towards solar power.

Bartow’s population now well over 17,000 people, and power costs of $20 million, the city took a bid from NovaSol energy to develop the solar farm.

Now 28,000 panels sit on a rural piece of land in Bartow, surrounded by greenery. 

This will be enough to power approximately 1,000 homes in one year.

Although a step to a more affordable fuel future, residents are not likely to see an dramatic or instant decrease in their bills today.

However, in the future you can expect it to pay off.

“It locks in the rate for the next 25 years,” Haseeb Qadri with NovaSol Energy says the cost will remain the same 10, 15, 20 years from now.

And according to the city, leaders will be looking to approve a decrease city wide come April, which will cut your fuel bills by about 9.5% for residents and slightly more for business owners.

This is due to both the project and other elements.

“It’s a much better deal. People will be able to put more dollars in their pocket which can be spent locally in our businesses and so on,” Long said.