Michigan Has Its First Massive Solar Contract

Ranger Power and Consumers Energy have agreed to a deal to purchase the 100 MW of Ranger’s planned 149 MW River Fork Solar project. This is the first known deal of its kind to date.

The state has 20 year deal for 153 MW. Just a couple of years ago the 20-year PPA was pretty much the industry standard, but we have recently seen a trend towards the 12-15-year range. This deal represents a significant step towards this project becoming a reality, as power contracts are one of the biggest necessities for a project before construction can begin. River Fork Solar is anticipated to take a year to construct with a projected on-line in either late 2020 or early 2021. The project is estimated to create 269 jobs.

This isn’t the only plant potentially coming to Michigan. In fact, it’s the smaller of the two, as in January, Ranger Power was approved by Shiawassee County regulators to develop a 239 MW project in Shiawassee County. The project has been approved by state regulators.

These two projected power plants are unexpected for the region. Michigan’s total installed capacity stands at 153 MW, placing it 31st nationally, according to SEIA. If these plants are approved by the state, it would led to a 260% increase in the state’s total installed solar capacity.

The Shiawassee County project does not have a PPA yet, though it is located suspiciously close to a Consumers Energy station. Before this project, the county rejected a 200 MW wind farm in the same area.

If the Shiawassee project never comes to be, River Fork Solar will still represent a nearly 100% increase in total installed capacity within the state-still an impressive feat for a state that is synonymous with fossil fuels due to the auto industry.

Source: PV Magazine