Bartow says new solar farm will cut electricity bills

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Bartow showed off its new 40-acre solar farm Thursday, saying it will soon provide clean, renewable energy to residents.

City leaders say it helps them diversify their energy needs and bring down costs in the process.

“The beauty of this is we are in the sunshine state we have plenty of sunshine,” said Bartow City Commissioner Trish Pfeiffer.

The city teamed up with Nova Sol Energy to build the large-scale solar farm.

There are 29,000 solar cell panels soaking up every sun ray. It cost the city nothing upfront.  

“They designed and constructed and financed the facility our obligation is to purchase 100 percent of the output and we do so at a  negotiated price that remains flat over a 25 year period,” said City Manager George Long.

Long says customers should start seeing lower bills as early as April 1.

“It will generate enough energy to power 1,000 homes per year. That’s roughly 5-6 percent of the city,” said Nova Sol CEO Haseeb Qadri. “This type of installation is economically and environmentally sustainable."

Bartow’s solar farm is currently in the final phase of testing. It is expected to be up and running next week.

Solar panels were also installed on Bartow's City Hall. They're expected to power 30 percent of the building's energy needs this year.