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The Norfolk City Council on Monday approved plans for the state’s largest community solar project with Nebraska Public Power District.

NPPD will build the 8.5 megawatt solar array on city-owned land near Norfolk's wellfields.

A $490,000 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust will help pay for the solar project, which will be tied to a battery energy storage system demonstration project expected to be in operation by mid-2020. The battery system will store solar energy that is generated and discharge it as needed.

The project will be similar to ones NPPD has done in Kearney, Scottsbluff and Venango that allow community members to purchase solar power without having to have their own rooftop arrays.

“We are excited to initiate Nebraska’s largest solar project, tied to the state’s first battery energy storage system, while helping lower energy bills and provide renewable options to interested citizens and businesses,” Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning said in a news release.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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