KOCHVILLE TWP, MI – A solar company based in California has plans to invest $2.54 million to construct a solar energy farm on a 38-acre parcel of land in Saginaw County.
A hearing for the proposed Stoneheart Solar Photovoltaic Electrical Generation Facility, located at 4097 Pierce Road near Mackinaw Road in Kochville Township, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9 at the Kochville Township Veteran’s Hall, 3265 Kochville Road.
Cypress Creek Renewables, of Santa Monica, California, will present its proposed project at the meeting. The anticipated power output of the project annually would be enough to power about 300 to 400 single-family homes, according to Cypress Creek Renewables.
Kochville Township has received a request for special use approval to construct and operate the solar facility. On Monday, Aug. 12, during the township’s planning commission’s regular business meeting, Cypress Creek Renewables presented its proposed energy facility and gave a presentation on solar energy and a brief overview of their proposed project, according to Bruce Palmer, zoning administrator for Kochville Township.
Some residents such as Daniel Satkowiak are not in favor of the project.
“I’m not against green energy, it’s just that it’s taking up valuable farmland,” Satkowiak said. ”It could be housing here instead of solar panels.”
Satkowiak, a resident in the area for 25 years, said the proposed solar facility would be next door to his property on Mackinaw Road.
The Stoneheart Solar project would contain rows of photovoltaic cell panels mounted on posts set in the ground.
Compliance with federal, state and local regulations will ensure Stoneheart Solar will not result in adverse impacts to the environment resources, according to officials with the solar company.
The company touts benefits from allowing the property to develop as a solar energy facility, including:
- The creation of locally generated, clean energy resources in Kochville Township.
- A source of consistent annual income for the land owners in the form of lease payments.
- An economic investment and increased tax revenue for Kochville Township. The company estimates about 20 jobs during construction and installation, and subsequent tax revenue from the project.
- Contribution to renewable energy goals outlined by the state of Michigan. The project would offset 2,800 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
After the September presentation, the planning commission will hold a public hearing to listen to resident comments.
The project would minimize impacts to surrounding landowners with visual screenings and landscape buffers. The project has no environmental impact and will be planted with pollinators intended to be low impact to animals and residents, according to Palmer.