MARQUETTE — It’s been just over a year since the Marquette Board of Light and Power installed a 480 panel community solar garden at their location on Wright Street.
It’s the first community owned solar farm in the Upper Peninsula. Since then, 168 megawatt hours of clean, renewable energy have been produced, and just over 80 panels remain available. The customer credit earned per panel is currently $22.69 for the year.
“A lot of customers don’t own their own homes – maybe they live in an apartment, or heavily wooded or shaded property where it’s not practical for them to have their own solar generation – this is a great option for that,” said Marquette Board of light and Power Metering and Energy Supervisor, Kevin Downs.
But many people are still confused about winter weather and the overall effect on the panels. Downs says that cleaning them affects their longevity, and wouldn’t help production in the winter months.
“They’re not heated panels, it’s just solar radiation even on an overcast day,” explained Downs. “You’ll see a roof with an unheated building that’s dripping, it’s just natural. They do shed – they may have heavy snow, but within a day or two, they shed it off.”
MBLP customers have the option to purchase those solar panels for just under $500 each, and they will receive 63 cents per kilowatt credit for power generated by their panels. To learn more about the panels and the options provided, visit MBLP.org