Knoxville Council hears details on Love’s solar project.

The Knoxville City Council were presented with some information last night on a proposed solar project at Love’s Travel Stop. Kevin McCarthy, Director of Special Projects for Love’s gave information and fielded questions. He told the council that the proposed system would be used to power the Love’s Travel Stop. “The Travel Stop at Love’s – we have the tire shop that we added at most stations and locations now,” McCarthy said. “Our electricity is going up. As a company we’re spending anywhere from $40-45 million a year just on electricity. It’s a large operating expense. We’re looking at ways to hedge that. So it would offset roughly 60% of the electricity use – that’s what we kind of, sized the system to do.” Any surplus of power from the system would be put back into the grid – and the company would receive credit from Ameren Illinois. The company is not allowed to sell the surplus. The project also includes a 15-year commitment between Love’s and Ameren Illinois. The project would include 900 solar modules complete with a six to eight foot fence – so the modules wouldn’t be visible. The fence, according to McCarthy, can be as big or little as the City wants – and whatever color or type the City wants. Another aspect of the project would be to install charging stations for electric cars. McCarthy told the council Love’s company Trillion is doing the project and would provide them with renderings and more details soon. Love’s has been involved with solar energy for three years now – with developments in Nevada and California. The company is looking to develop more in Arizona and Illinois.