Proceed with ‘community solar’

Frosty and friends in Baraga: L-r, Lindsay Hoff, Weston Nygord, Mark Gazlay, Gina Nygord, Frosty, Bella Jenkins and Paul Jenkins enjoyed the Baraga Village Christmas gathering held at the Baraga Village Office on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. All present were treated to enjoyable weather, Baraga Fire Department fire truck rides, a visit with Santa, treat bags, a visit with Frosty the Snowman and sled dog rides.

by Barry Drue
A community solar project is deemed feasible for L’Anse following a Michigan Tech Social Sciences Department survey of local residents and an exhaustive review of the findings. An Executive Summary of the findings was presented at a public meeting at the L’Anse Area Schools cafetorium on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Community solar is a concept where a solar array could be built, in this case in the Lambert Road Industrial Park. Residential and commercial electric customers of L’Anse could buy shares in the project. Based on the shares they buy, the amount of solar energy produced and sold into the grid would be deducted from those customers’ village electric bill. People not participating would not be impacted on their bills. A community survey to determine interest in the project was sent out with September electric utility bills for L’Anse customers. The survey could also be completed online. The survey and analysis was done by Michigan Technological University’s Fall, 2017, Special Topics class focusing on community solar. The class is part of the MTU Social Sciences Department. Five graduate students analyzed the L’Anse  project. The project is part of a larger study by UPSTART, the UP Solar Technical Assistance Research Team. Among those involved are L’Anse electric provider WPPI, the Village of L’Anse, WUPPDR, and MTU. L’Anse Superintendent Susan Tollefson, Chamber of Commerce Director Debbie Stouffer, KBOCC President Debra Parrish and Village Manager Bob LaFave are involved. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.