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Monday, 30 September 2013 15:52

Energy Pitch: Butterworth Landfill solar array

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One project pitch that’s being discussed at the Energy Leaders Forum is a proposed large-scale solar array at the Butterworth Landfill site in Grand Rapids.

With the help of a $30,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant for engineering services, the City of Grand Rapids hired a consultant to help determine the project’s feasibility.

[RELATED: Report: State’s RPS will be met, renewable energy getting cheaper]

A report on the project is due by the time of the conference, said Haris Alibasic, director of the Office of Energy and Sustainability for the city. The study should help determine the size and scope of project, which could range from 2.5 megawatts to 10 megawatts, he said.

“My idea for the (Energy Leaders) forum is to share the results of the study and any updates to see if we can find additional support or partners,” Alibasic said. “We’re still thinking conceptually about what we can do, and it would be good to look at a number of different financing and ownership scenarios.”

Additionally, Alibasic hopes to discuss other potential grants and building incentives.

The site has 44 acres of developable area for the installation and Consumer’s Energy has a nearby grid station, to which the project could link.

“The question is how we would work into the infrastructure of the utility,” Alibasic said. “We’ve been working with them already and it’s going well. We’ve been able to talk about the potential project and how it works within the current market framework.”

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