Michigan might be not the first place you’d envision for a solar farm. However, for Ranger Power, it is the location of their next solar project, spanning nearly 1,000 acres.
Once it is complete in late 2020 or 2021, the River Fork Solar project, in Southern Calhoun County will be able to power 24,000 homes.
Investing $150 million for the Calhoun County project, it is the company’s second project in Michigan. (Ranger Power announced one in Shiawassee County earlier this year.)
A state requirement that utilities have 15 percent from renewable resources, coupled with rising energy prices have made a choice location for a solar farm.
Explains Sergio Trevino, Ranger Power development director, “The solar industry – of this size – is relatively new in Michigan. You’re really starting to see the first large projects come online over the next two or so years. The price of solar panels has dropped so much that we can make up for the fact that it’s not Arizona.”
While Ranger Power can’t sell power directly to customers like is possible in some other states, it can make deals with utility companies to add power to their grid and offset costs to customers that way. Moreover, the project is expected to create 269 jobs for the nine to 12 months of construction, said Sean Harris, senior development manager with the company. It also creates three to five permanent jobs.
It is yet another step in the right direction toward a more sustainable future.
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