Norway zoning board approves solar project permit
NORWAY, Mich. (WLUC) - The Norway Township Zoning Board of Appeals upheld a permit Monday allowing construction of the Groveland Mine Solar project in areas within the township’s border.
Norway Township Zoning Officer Don Byczek says the project is future-proofing Norway Township.
“We are going to run out of oil and oil is going to get so expensive,” said Byczek. “We’ve got to do something and this is a start. It’s not the end of it, it’s not the greatest thing in the world but it’s a start.”
Circle Power, the energy company leading the project, has guaranteed $12.4 million of property tax to be divided between Sagola, Norway and Felch townships if the project is completed. Sagola Township issued a permit to Circle Power for areas of the former mine within its jurisdiction this past summer.
Byczek says the tax revenue from the project will benefit much of Dickinson County.
“To the schools, North-Dickinson and Norway-Vulcan, it’s a considerable amount of money,” said Byczek. “The township gets money, the ambulance gets money, any county millage will be getting money from this tax.”
Circle Power CEO Jordan Roberts released a statement thanking Norway Township officials for their assistance. The statement read:
I want to thank the local officials in Norway Township for giving careful consideration to a project that will revitalize an abandoned industrial site and turn it into something that benefits the Upper Peninsula.
Records from township meetings show some residents were concerned the solar plant would create negative health effects for residents and wildlife. TV6 contacted those residents who oppose the project, but they have not responded.
Felch Township will meet to finalize its permit on Oct. 18.
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