Council OKs airport solar farmPublished 5:15pm Wednesday, November 20, 2013
A proposed solar farm at Warren Field Airport is closer to becoming a reality after the Washington City Council authorized the city manager to sign documents pertaining to the project. The authorization came during the councils meeting Monday. City staff has been working with Duke Energy Renewables on bringing the solar farm to the city-owned airport. The proposed project has been discussed by the Airport Advisory Board, which supports the proposal. The board believes the revenue generated for the city by the solar farm will help offset some airport-related expenditures, according to a memorandum from Allen Lewis, the city’s public-works director, to the mayor and council members. The council approved leasing airport land to Washington Airport Solar LLC for up to 15 years (an initial five-year term with options for two additional five-year terms), with rent at $1,200 per acre per year. The ground lease (which the council must approve) is for 34.3 acres. The 34.3 acres are south of the intersection of runways 5-23 and 17-35. The council also approved a ground easement agreement, solar skyway easement and an indemnity agreement between the city and Washington Airport Solar. “I would certainly like for this board to commend the manager for the effort he has put in to getting this project moving along. He has gone above and beyond what I would consider his normal responsibilities,” Councilman Doug Mercer said of City Manager Brian Alligood’s work on the project. “I would echo that. I know many times there have been a lot of opportunities along the way. I’ve offered to get firm with the various parties involved. The manager did a wonderful job in holding that off and preserving the process and opportunity to get this done. So, hats off on that,” Mayor Archie Jennings said. Alligood said City Attorney Franz Holscher and Allen Lewis, the city’s public-works director, and his staff were instrumental in helping bring the project along. “They were very diligently on this,” he said.