Solar panels investigated for potential

The Grand Haven Board of Light & Power is investigating a community solar energy project, modeled after one launched this year in the Traverse City area.
Alex Doty
Jul 9, 2013

“Obviously, this is in a very early stage,” Board of Light & Power General Manager Annette Allen said. “I don’t have any numbers or comparisons of what it would take.”

The Cherryland Electric Cooperative program consists of an 80-panel solar array. Members of the northwest Michigan utility have the opportunity to purchase shares and receive a monthly bill credit for their share’s output, without the risk and maintenance costs involved with traditional net metering.

For the Grand Haven-area project, BLP customers would buy a panel and receive energy that panel would produce, Allen said.

“We’ve had a couple of opportunities to get into solar, but that was part of a bigger project,” she said. “The numbers haven’t really worked for us.”

A formal study or recommendation to the utility's board hasn't been set. However, one of the utility's directors, John Naser, said he is enthusiastic about exploring alternative sources of power generation.

“I am very much interested in finding ways of generating electricity using clean, renewable energy,” he said.

Naser said the potential cost of installing such a project and the ongoing operational costs need to be determined.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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