The Missouri Municipal League announced April 19 that the city of Nixa won a 2018 MML Innovation Award recognizing its involvement in creating Missouri’s largest solar farm.
“These awards honor great projects happening in communities across Missouri that enhance the quality of life for Missouri cities,” the organization said in a statement announcing the award. “They showcase new approaches for solving municipal challenges. Awards are based on city population size, with the exception of a Member’s Choice award, where MML members vote for their favorite project regardless of city size.”
The solar farm was developed west of Nixa, providing about nine percent of the current annual electric demand. The 25-year purchase power agreement is expected to save the city $2.5 million, while reducing its carbon footprint by more than 10,500 metric tons per year.
Mayor Brian Steele said the award of Nixa’s tendency to “punch above its weight and aggressively pursue innovative solutions for our progressive community.”
“These innovation awards are proof that the other cities across Missouri admire the innovative spirit of the Nixa municipal government. As mayor, I am proud to work with city staff, who constantly seek innovative solutions to the challenges which many communities face, and who follow through on those ideas to the betterment of our entire community,” Steele said. “We strive to set the pace as one of the most innovative communities in not only Missouri, but the entire nation, and these awards are a sign that we are making progress towards that goal.”
Steele said retired City Administrator Brian Bingle and Director of Nixa Utilities and Public Works Doug Colvin were integral in orchestrating the solar farm’s construction in partnership with Senator Jay Wasson, Gardner Capital and MC Power.
“Not only does the Nixa Solar Farm reduce our carbon footprint, but it saves Nixa Utilities $2.5 million, meaning we can keep rates low at a time when many electric utilities continue to raise rates,” Steele said.