Plainfield Township officials want to install a floating solar farm
Plainfield Township wants to install a floating solar farm. The company that would install it says it'd be the first of its kind in the state.
Plainfield Township officials want to install a floating solar farm.
The company that would install the solar farm, White Pine Renewables, said the project would be the first of its kind in the state of Michigan.
The plan is to build the floating solar farm on a pond next to the township’s water treatment plant, to power the plant.
White Pine Renewables CEO Evan Riley said there are challenges in creating a floating solar array.
“Floating isn't something that's commonly done because it's more expensive. The cost of electricity is more expensive and it's technically more complex and it's more difficult to finance," he said. "However, we are one of the most experienced and largest floating solar providers in the United States, so for us it's something that's kind of easy to do.”
The project is expected to save the township more than $2 million over the next 30 years. But it has hit a few roadblocks, including financing.
Plainfield Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden said, “The financing piece has gotten uglier and uglier, interest rates have only gone up and material costs have gone up as well and so that's actually what's caused a pause in this project. We're hopeful we can get started next year; we'd need to see about financing.”
Company CEO Evan Riley said they still need to apply for permits with the state, but if that goes well, he said they hope to finish the project by the end of next year or by the summer of 2025.