Blog Post

Renewable Vibes > News > Renewable Energy > Coldwater and Marshall set to host solar farms.

Plans are in motion to bring solar farms to the towns of Coldwater and Marshall.

Coldwater and Marshall set to host solar farms.

Plans are in motion to bring solar farms to the towns of Coldwater and Marshall.

The Michigan South Central Power Agency (MSCPA) is considering the construction of solar farms in Coldwater and Marshall to generate 9.6 megawatts of energy. This decision comes after negotiations to purchase power from an Oceana County solar farm fell through.

According to MSCPA manager Pam Sullivan, the agency was unable to agree on contract rates with Northstar Energy, the owner of the Oceana County solar farm. The proposed price remains confidential due to a confidentiality agreement.

The MSCPA had previously looked into the Hart Solar project, owned by NorthStar Energy, which offered to sell up to 100 megawatts of energy. However, the construction of the project was delayed until power purchase contracts were secured with municipal, cooperative, commercial, and industrial customers in the Midwest.

The MSCPA’s plans for solar farms in Coldwater and Marshall aim to meet state and customer requirements for energy, capacity, and renewable energy credits. The Coldwater solar farm would be located on a property owned by the city along the east side of I-69 between State and Newton roads. The Marshall project would be situated on a city-owned parcel of land southeast of town near the nature center, according to Kevin Maynard, director of Electric Utilities in Marshall.

The construction of these solar farms is contingent upon the MSCPA obtaining a USDA grant. The grant would cover 25% of the power purchased by MSCPA members from the project once construction costs are determined. Sullivan mentioned that if the grant is not obtained, the agency would propose an alternative option for members to proceed with the project.

American Municipal Power, the Ohio-based joint operating agency that manages MSCPA, would oversee the construction of the solar farms. Municipalities participating in the project would sign contracts to purchase the power, eliminating the need for borrowing or bonding to finance the construction.

Additionally, the Coldwater Board of Public Utilities revealed plans for a 1.1-megawatt solar facility by an unidentified commercial customer in Coldwater. However, the construction of this facility is contingent upon obtaining a REAP grant.

The USDA has allocated $145 million for loans and grant awards through the Rural Energy for America Program to support energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy investments for agricultural producers and rural small business owners.

In conclusion, the MSCPA is considering the development of solar farms in Coldwater and Marshall to meet energy requirements. The construction of these projects relies on obtaining a USDA grant, and American Municipal Power would oversee the construction process.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *