Solar installation success in Michigan

Jon Lawson

Jackson, Michigan-based solar energy firm Harvest Energy Solutions has become the first provider of solar energy to a utility in Lenawee County, Michigan via three large scale solar array projects in the region.

The installations are owned by Stateline Farms, Gerken Paving and Harvest Solar Lenawee. Each of these systems is capable of 1.0MW of AC output. The power generated by these systems will be sold to Midwest Energy & Communications (MEC) thanks to a program offered by Wolverine Power Co-op.

Harvest partnered with MEC when Wolverine Power offered to purchase solar energy under a program through their member-owned cooperatives. Additionally, Wolverine stipulated that the power must be provided locally from an existing member of MEC in order to contribute to the local economy. This series of solar projects created jobs in both Lenawee and Jackson counties, employed local electricians, construction workers, engineers and other professionals. Ken Zebarah at Harvest explained how these installations were ground-breaking projects for them: "Historically, taking on three projects of this size at once would be a big deal. But between the cooperation from the townships, MEC and the Harvest team, the installations came together without a hitch and within the agreed upon tight schedule."

Harvest hopes this will be the first of several installations to follow in order to provide power to the utility. According to Zebarah, "Through Wolverine Power and all other utilities in the State, solar programs and policies are constantly changing, so there is always opportunity for a variety of larger projects throughout the State."  

Zebarah continued, "We are actively pursuing land-lease opportunities for larger projects, in addition to our typical scope of work of providing solar energy systems to residences, businesses and farms."


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