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Investors, city officials celebrate community solar park's completion

January 28, 2019
Pictured are some solar panels photographed  at the East Lansing Solar Park on Jan. 24, 2019 at Burcham Park in East Lansing.
Pictured are some solar panels photographed at the East Lansing Solar Park on Jan. 24, 2019 at Burcham Park in East Lansing. —
Photo by CJ Weiss | The State News

City officials and project sponsors celebrated the opening of the East Lansing Community Solar Park on Burcham Road at a celebration Jan. 23.

In total 144 customers signed 25-year leases for the $399 panels. Customers include residents, businesses, the Capital Area Transportation Authority and the City of East Lansing. 

Those who leased a panel receive a $26 annual credit on their Lansing Board of Water and Light, or BWL bill, while the energy generated at the 1,000-panel park will be used to power the surrounding residential area. The solar park became operational on Dec. 28, 2018.

The project was built at Burcham Park, a retired landfill site which includes bee-friendly pollinators, native grasses, educational signage and a sculpture by local artist Jim Cunningham, according to a press release.

BWL partnered with Michigan Energy Options and Pivot Energy on the solar park.

“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,'” Michigan Energy Options executive director John Kinch said in a statement.

Plans for the park were first announced in 2015, and initial estimates for completion aimed for early 2017, according to the Lansing State Journal. 

The delay stemmed from contract negotiations with the organization that helped build the panels, Adamy said.

"It's been a very long time coming," she said. "We're excited to see this park is finally online." 

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