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Large solar energy project dividing Eaton County residents

American Public Power Association

Residents in Eaton County are divided over a proposal to build an 850-acre solar array.

The project could mean a lot of money for landowners willing to sell their land.

But some residents are concerned the project’s size would negatively affect their property values and quality of life.

Gary Suits' home would be nearly surrounded by the proposed project.

“What gives someone else the right to do something with their property that devalues my property?” says Suits.

Sandstone Creek Solar LLC, with a subsidiary of a Minnesota-based wind and solar energy company, filed suit last year against Benton Township. The lawsuit is challenging the decision by township officials to enact an interim zoning ordinance blocking large-scale solar projects.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.