Two new community solar projects are launching in Michigan, moving our state one step closer to 100% renewable energy.
These community solar projects create an opportunity for customers to purchase one or more photovoltaic panels, and then receive a credit for energy produced by the panel(s) on their electric bill. This is an innovative way for homeowners to take advantage of clean renewable power without installing solar panels on their homes or businesses. It also provides an opportunity for owners of shady properties to still get in on the solar boom.
Learn more about the MI Community Solar project for all Lansing BWL customers.
The East Lansing Community Solar Park, the first community solar park in the Greater Lansing Region, is now leasing panels to Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) electric customers. Once 80% of the 1,000 solar panels are leased, construction will begin on Lansing’s Burcham Park, a retired landfill. They are hoping to start building the 300-kilowatt array in April.
Leasing a 300-watt panel for 25 years costs $399, and the estimated payback is 12 years. Not only are investors purchasing about 13 years of free electricity, they are investing in clean energy – and the reduced pollution, improved health, and climate stability that it brings. All BWL customers can reserve panels on their website.
The SpartanSolar Project near Cadillac, MI is now accepting subscriptions
The second project is Wolverine Power Cooperative's SpartanSolar project, 1.2-megawatt solar installation that recently came online to provide renewable energy to nearly 200 rural Michigan homes. The project, located next to Wolverine's headquarters in Cadillac, MI, uses 4,352 solar panels, each capable of generating 335 watts. This is part of the cooperative’s goal of building 10 megawatts of solar.
The five distribution co-ops are now rolling out the program to their customers, who can sign-up to lease one or more panels for $600 each for 15 years. The electric co-ops may offer a partial panel rebate.
The distribution co-ops that Wolverine serves include Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Great Lakes Energy, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Midwest Energy Cooperative, and Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op. The co-ops are located in the western half of Michigan's lower peninsula.Community solar is growing rapidly as a way to increase investments in solar power. There are 25 states with at least one community solar project online. The next five years will see the U.S. community solar market add an impressive 1.8 gigawatts, enough to power 1.25 million homes. That’s up from just 66 megawatts through the end of 2014.
Community solar is growing rapidly as a way to increase investments in solar power. There are 25 states with at least one community solar project online. The next five years will see the U.S. community solar market add an impressive 1.8 gigawatts, enough to power 1.25 million homes. That’s up from just 66 megawatts through the end of 2014.