Community Solar under construction at MEC

CASSOPOLIS — A large-scale community solar array is under construction at the headquarters property of Midwest Energy & Communications, and the co-op’s electric consumers will soon have an opportunity to participate with renewable energy.

“More and more people are taking an active stance on environmental stewardship and sustainability, and we’re excited to provide an affordable and meaningful way for our consumers to make an investment in renewable generation,” said Bob Hance, president/CEO of MEC.

MEC and Spartan Renewable Energy, both members of Cadillac-based Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, broke ground in September on SpartanSolar-MEC, a 2,484-panel community solar array at the intersection of M60 and Decatur Road in Cassopolis. This is the second community solar array in Wolverine’s portfolio. At 350 watts per panel, it is expected to power nearly 150 rural Michigan homes annually.

“Wolverine is our power supply partner, and is Michigan’s renewable energy leader with nearly 20 percent renewable generation in the fuel mix,” Hance said. “With their visionary leadership, we’re exceeding present and anticipated state renewable portfolio requirements and allowing our consumers to get involved with renewable energy on a more personal level.”

Community solar gives electric consumers an opportunity to participate in renewable energy without the huge investment and ongoing maintenance of a residential installation. Interested individuals simply sign up for a panel subscription, which entitles them to a share of the energy produced on the community array. In turn, they receive a monthly credit of $.10/kWh based on their subscription’s share of the actual power generated that month. A 15-year panel subscription is $600, payable one time or in $10 monthly installments for five years, and is expected to generate about $40 in credits annually.

“This is not intended to be a money-maker,” Hance said. “It’s an affordable and simple way for people to make a long-term commitment to Michigan’s environment by adding even more renewable energy into our power supply.”

SpartanSolar-MEC is scheduled to go online in December, and panel subscriptions are now available. Through the end of this year, people choosing the one-time payment option are eligible for a rebate of $150 per panel, up to 20 panels, through Michigan’s Energy Optimization program.

For more information, visit SpartanSolar.com or call 800-492-5989.

Midwest Energy & Communications creates vibrant, relevant, sustainable rural communities by providing first-in-class electric distribution, propane, and fiber internet solutions to more than 40,000 consumers in 15 counties across southern Michigan and northern Indiana and Ohio.