EAST LANSING, Mich. – The City of East Lansing’s Commission on the Environment (COE) and Meridian Township’s Environmental Commission will host a Community Solar Forum on Monday, Jan. 11 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center (ELHCC), 819 Abbot Road.
Community members are invited to attend to learn more about the community solar project proposed for East Lansing’s Burcham Park. There will also be opportunities for forum participants to ask questions and provide feedback to the project’s leaders from the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) and Michigan Energy Options (MEO).
The forum will take place in Room 211 of ELHCC and is open to anyone who is interested in attending. There is no need to RSVP.
About the Proposed Project
The COE has explored the subject of community solar for several years. Upon learning that the BWL planned to issue a Request for Proposals for large-scale solar projects in its service area, the COE and MEO decided to conduct a survey of East Lansing residents to gauge support for community solar and a potential project in East Lansing. The survey results, which demonstrated significant resident support, were shared with the BWL.
In the fall of 2015, the BWL announced plans to build the first community solar park in its service territory at East Lansing’s Burcham Park - a retired landfill site. Community solar allows participants to enjoy the benefits of solar power without having to install and maintain panels on their homes or businesses. Community members interested in participating can learn more at www.micommunitysolar.org.
The solar array proposed for Burcham Park would occupy approximately one acre of the 24-acre park and would be located in the northwest corner. The site is slated to have 1,000 panels and is expected to produce electricity equivalent to powering 55 houses per year. The solar project would be leased to 80 percent capacity before construction would begin.
A draft lease agreement for the proposed project has been presented to the East Lansing City Council for review and consideration.