Newberry to participate in solar energy program

NEWBERRY, Fla. (WCJB)-- The city of Newberry has taken its first step toward using solar power.

The city commission has voted to participate in a solar power project by the Florida Municipal Power Agency.

Newberry will receive one megawatt from solar energy. That's twelve percent of the city's peak load or about five percent of its total power usage.

City officials estimate the changes will cost residents an extra 50 cents a month. Some of that charge will be drawn from taxes. The rest will be added to utility bills.

"I see the city of Newberry and most other energy service providers in Florida utilizing solar more and more moving forward as the price is becoming more and more attractive," said Mike New, Newberry's city manager.

City leaders say the project is in the negotiation phase with contractors.

They estimate it will take around two years before Newberry starts drawing solar power.