Plans have been unveiled for the construction of a 152-megawatt solar farm in Henry and Rush counties. London-based Lightsource bp says it has entered into a virtual power purchase agreement with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) to construct Bellflower Solar Farm.
A VPPA acts as a financial hedge against volatile electricity prices.
The telecommunications company says the investment is part of its goal to be carbon neutral by 2035.
“Working together, we’re reducing carbon emissions from electricity generation for the overall grid while delivering substantial local economic benefits,” said Kevin Smith, chief executive officer of Lightsource bp in the Americas. “Adding initiatives to enhance local biodiversity further multiplies solar’s contribution to preserving our planet for future generations.”
The companies say the plan is to create a pollinator-friendly solar farm, designed in collaboration with ecology experts to restore and conserve pollinator habitat.
In terms of economic, Lightsource bp says Bellflower Solar is expected to create about 250 jobs during construction.
They expect the farm to generate $30 million in property tax revenue over its life and become operational in 2022.