- Associated Press - Monday, November 7, 2016

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - More East Lansing residents will have the opportunity to cut their electric bill next year due to a community solar project that’s planning to nearly double in scope from 1,000 panels to about 1,800 panels.

Albion-based Patriot Solar Group has partnered with the Lansing Board of Water & Light on the project, the Lansing State Journal (https://on.lsj.com/2fvovVP ) reported.

Residents who get electricity from the board will be able to pay nearly $400 to lease a solar panel for 25 years, said company president and CEO Jeff Mathie. Electricity generated from the panels will feed into the electric grid, and the board will credit the lessee on their bill, he said. The project will be able to generate enough electricity to power 100 homes, he added.

By investing in the solar panels, which cost between $5,000 and $10,000, a homeowner potentially could receive a credit from the utility company.

“There was more interest than the 1,000 panels initially requested,” said Mathie. “If you don’t have a home, or don’t have a home equipped for solar, this is an alternative . and it’s much less expensive.”

Michigan Energy Options statistics show that if a resident leased two panels, it would cover the average cost powering a refrigerator for a year.

According to Mathie, the original cost of the project was $900,000, but estimates now show it could cost up to $1.5 million, depending on the final number of panels installed.

“It’s a great environmental benefit,” Mayor Mark Meadows said. “We want (the city) to move as quickly as possible to becoming 100 percent reliant on renewable energy. We’re a long way from getting there, but this helps us meet our goals.”

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Information from: Lansing State Journal, https://www.lansingstatejournal.com


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