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Sunflower Electric Power Corporation announces third solar project
State’s largest commercial solar facility coming to Dodge City
Johnson Corner Solar Project

HAYS — Sunflower Electric Power Corp. is partnering on a 150-megawatt solar energy project near Fort Dodge Station, the company’s electric generating facility one mile southeast of Dodge City. Expected commercial operation is during the first half of 2026.

Sunflower is a cooperatively operated wholesale generation and transmission utility serving seven member distribution utilities located in western Kansas. The Boot Hill Solar Project will join Sunflower’s 20-megawatt Johnson Corner Solar Project (JCSP), which came online in April 2020, and Sunflower’s 20-megawatt Sunflower Electric Solar @ Russell Project, scheduled for commercial operation in January 2025, in providing solar power to Sunflower’s members and those they serve. 

Because it produces on-peak energy during the hottest days of the year when the Sunflower system experiences its peak demand for electricity, the Boot Hill Solar Project will complement the company’s other generation resources, which are powered by natural gas, coal, and wind. In addition to providing on-peak renewable energy, the project will also provide the system with incremental capacity.

The Victory Electric Cooperative Assn., Inc., located in Dodge City, joins Sunflower’s six other member-owners in supporting the Boot Hill Solar Project, which will surpass the JCSP and the Sunflower Electric Solar @ Russell projects as the largest operating solar facility in the state. Strategically locating the Boot Hill Solar project near existing Sunflower assets will provide cost and schedule benefits to all of the member-owners.

“We are always glad when we can provide more value to our members,” said Shane Laws, Victory CEO, “but having what will be the state’s largest operating solar facility located in our community makes this project even more exciting. Thank you to everyone who has helped us get to this phase.”  

Sunflower is partnering with Alluvial Power to design and construct the project, and the two entities have executed a power purchase agreement for the energy generated by the Boot Hill Solar Project. The facility will generate approximately 400,000 megawatt hours annually, which represents about 9% of the Sunflower system’s energy needs. The facility, located on approximately 1,000 acres in Ford County, Kansas and will have over 300,000 solar panels mounted on a single-axis solar tracking system designed to maximize the amount of energy captured from the sun. 

“We are excited to bring the Boot Hill Solar Project to the Ford County community,” said Brian Kirk, an Alluvial Power executive. “Our team enjoyed collaborating with the Sunflower team, Victory and Sunflower’s other members, Ford County officials and local community members. We look forward to delivering a high-value, cost-effective resource to Sunflower’s members and system.” 

Sunflower is again working with the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) of which Sunflower is a founder and member-owner. NRCO was also instrumental in bringing the JCSP to fruition and is partnering with Sunflower in developing the Sunflower Electric Solar @ Russell Project.

“NRCO is honored to support its member Sunflower in adding additional solar capacity. This project brings unique economic benefits to Sunflower’s members,” said Todd Bartling, NRCO vice president of renewables development.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2025. During the approximately one-year construction phase, the project will require approximately 200 workers at peak buildout.

“Each energy generation resource type has benefits, so Sunflower supports an all-of-the-above approach to our generation portfolio,” said Steve Epperson, Sunflower interim president and CEO. “Sunflower’s Board of Directors has carefully analyzed the factors and variables associated with adding more solar energy to our system and believes the time is right to capitalize on the economic efficiencies and other benefits of this project for our members.”