EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Lansing Board of Water & Light, in partnership with Michigan Energy Options and Pivot Energy, celebrated the opening of East Lansing Solar Park today, located on Burcham Drive in East Lansing. The park, which became operational on December 28, 2018, has 1,000 solar panels that will produce 430,000 kWh annually, enough to power around 60 homes.
“The BWL is proud to be a leader in renewable energy, and we’re even more proud to offer our customers the chance to be a part of it without having to install panels on their home or business,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “This solar park will continue to provide BWL customers with cleaner energy, as we remain committed to providing energy efficiency and renewable energy to our customers.”
A total of 144 BWL residential and commercial electric customers, including the City of East Lansing and CATA, 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," said East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas. "We would like to thank the BWL, Michigan Energy Options and Pivot Energy for the work they have done to make this exciting project a reality."
“We are incredibly pleased to partner with both the Lansing Board of Water & Light, and the City of East Lansing on the solar park project,” said CATA CEO Bradley T. Funkhouser. “It aligns with our objective to implement sustainable business practices and operations. In considering and planning for CATA’s future – as well as that of the region we serve – the solar park is a smart, forward-thinking investment that is certain to result in long-term energy efficiencies for CATA, thereby increasing our community partners’ effectiveness and making the City of East Lansing a great place to live, work and play.”
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.
“From the outset, we wanted this project not only to produce clean, renewable energy but also be an addition to the community of which people could be proud to say: I helped to do this,” said John A. Kinch, Executive Director of Michigan Energy Options.
“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,” said Pivot Energy 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 percent clean energy by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030.