Do the residents of L’Anse want to support the proposed solar power project?
That’s what village officials and WPPI Energy are trying to find out.
The project involves investing in solar power generation for village residents, paid for voluntarily by subscribers who would then see an additional charge on their bill.
All WPPI customers in the village would benefit from the clean, renewable energy. It’s just a question of whether there are enough residents willing to help offset the cost.
Brad Barnett, Regional Planner for the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region, says that’s why they are conducting a feasibility study.
Barnett said, “We need to make sure that utility customers want to see this happen, that they’re willing to pay for it and that it actually pencils out in terms of dollars. We’re not going to push something that ultimately isn’t economically feasible for the area.”
In addition to seeking input through town halls, Barnett says residential utility customers will also receive a community survey in the mail with their October bill.
“And they’ll have an opportunity to tell us what they think about the community solar program,” Barnett said. “We’re going to give them a few options on what we think what the program would look like and they’ll have a chance to tell us whether that will work for them or not, and so we can take that information and then re-evaluate the design program to see if we can make this work out.”
After they have collected and evaluated all the feedback they have a received, another town hall will be held later this year to provide an update.
You can hear the entire interview about the L’Anse Solar Project with Barnett, Village Manager Bob LaFave and Brett Niemi from WPPI Energy on the Copper Country Today page.