MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Marquette Board of Light and Power has exciting news: their community solar garden is now producing clean, renewable energy.
It's the first commercial solar project in the U.P.
"It's a unique way that customers can be part of a municipal electric system are allowed to have an opportunity to own something like this," said Acting Executive Director Tom Carpenter.
The Marquette Board of Light and Power had 480 solar panels available for sale in their garden. That number is now down to 158. This has been a project in the making for the last 3 years.
"The solar garden that you see behind me is an exciting opportunity for Marquette Board of Light and Power customers to participate in owning solar voltaic production panels without having the responsibility of putting them or maintaining them on their property," said Program Supervisor Kevin Downs.
Each panel produces an average of 382 kWh resulting in just over $24 in solar credits per panel. Panels cost $499 each and have a life expectancy of 25 years. A payback for purchasing a panel is expected in 20 years.
"It's worth it to minimize your carbon footprint," said Kevin Downs. "If your concern is a return on your investment, then only the individual can answer that."
Solar prices have significantly dropped over the last 10 years as they become more common.
"One advantage of municipal electric is that we can offer things to the customer that they want," continued Carpenter. "There's a lot of people in town who may not have a roof that's capable to hold the solar panel. There's also yards that don't have a lot of sun. We were able to provide to those folks who want to have solar energy."
If you would like to go green and a purchase a solar panel, you can visit our related links section.