East Lansing Cuts Ribbon On New Solar Park

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On Jan. 23, the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL), in partnership with Michigan Energy Options and Pivot Energy, celebrated the opening of the East Lansing Solar Park.

Located on Burcham Dr. in East Lansing, Mich., the project, which became operational on Dec. 28, has 1,000 solar panels that will produce 430,000 kWh annually.

A total of 144 BWL residential and commercial electric customers, including the City of East Lansing and the Capital Area Transportation Authority, signed a 25-year lease and paid $399 per panel to receive an annual credit of around $26 per panel on their BWL electric utility bill for the solar power produced.

“We are excited to join other members of our community in supporting this local, environmentally friendly project. Our investment in 300 solar panels at the park brings us one step closer to our goal of 100 percent clean energy, as outlined in East Lansing City Council’s Strategic Priorities, and it also aligns with the City of East Lansing’s Climate Sustainability Plan,” says George Lahanas, East Lansing city manager.

The project, which was built on a retired landfill site at East Lansing’s Burcham Park, will also include bee-friendly pollinators, native grasses, educational signage and a sculpture by local artist Jim Cunningham.

“We’re proud to partner with the Lansing Board of Water & Light and Michigan Energy Options to bring this long-awaited community solar park online and giving local households and businesses an opportunity to access solar energy,” says Pivot Energy’s CEO, Rick Hunter. “This solar park will make the Lansing area more sustainable and represents another step in East Lansing’s Climate Sustainability Plan to transition to cleaner, more renewable energy options. Best of all, the city – and many who surround it – will benefit economically since subscribers, including the city government, will save money on their utility bills.”

The Lansing Board of Water & Light has committed to providing 30% clean energy by 2020 and 40% by 2030.

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