WHILE IT MAY not look like much now, work has begun on Ranger Power’s Assembly Solar Project near the intersection of Copas and Byron roads in Venice Township. The site can be seen on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 9.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)
by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
Michigan’s largest solar farm, Ranger Power’s Assembly Solar Project, is under construction. The construction began on the $250 million solar farm in Hazelton and Venice townships in 2019, with piles and grading well underway before the year ended.
“We’re excited to see construction begin on the Assembly Solar Project, and we appreciate the continued support from the local community,” said Paul Harris, president of Ranger Power. “The Assembly Solar Project will provide clean, renewable energy to Michiganders who obtain their electric service from a large group of locally owned and controlled municipal electric utilities that aggregate and share power supply through the Michigan Public Power Agency (MPPA).”
The project will generate a $3.2 million increase in household earnings through the creation of more than 300 jobs during construction, with approximately $16 million being spent in Shiawassee County.
“The Assembly Solar Project will create new jobs and contribute to the economic growth of Shiawassee County and the region,” Harris said. “We will continue forging strong partnerships with local businesses, neighbors and residents to ensure this project benefits the entire community by creating more jobs and revenue for schools and public safety.”
McCarthy Building Companies, the construction contractor for the project, began conducting interviews in Owosso to hire local residents to work at the site in late 2019. The project is expected to create hundreds of jobs, and McCarthy Building Companies will hire 250 people in 2020 from Shiawassee, Ingham and Genesee counties to work on the project.
“The Assembly Solar Project is a big win for our community, bringing jobs and much needed tax revenue to Shiawassee County,” said Justin Horvath, president and CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership. “This project is pumping tax revenue into Shiawassee County, and schools, small businesses like restaurants and hardware stores, libraries and fire and police services, as well as roads and bridges, all stand the benefit from this project.”
The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL), Michigan’s largest municipally owned utility, is a proud participant in the Assembly Solar Project as part of BWL’s commitment to provide its customers with 30 percent clean energy by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030.
The Assembly Solar Project, which is being developed on a 1,200-acre site of primarily fields and vacant land, received broad community support throughout the planning process. It is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 394,000 tons annually in the short term – equivalent to the yearly emissions of 77,702 cars.
For more information about the project, visit www.assemblysolar.com.