UP'S FIRST COMMUNITY SOLAR GARDEN

For up-to-date information on the Solar Garden production, click Solar Monitoring Data.

Information on the First Year, click MBLP Community Solar - First Year Report.

To apply to purchase your own solar panel, click MBLP Community Solar Contract.

For more information on the Solar Garden Program, see below or call our offices at 906-228-0311.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

  • What is Community Solar?

    The Marquette Community Solar Garden will give MBLP customers the opportunity to benefit from renewable energy without having to install and maintain solar panels on their property.  Instead, the solar panels are located on site at the MBLP's service center. Participants in this voluntary program will be able to license property and purchase solar panels for a term of 25 years.  The renewable energy generated by these panels will be reflected as a credit on their electric utility bill from MBLP. 

  • What is the cost of each panel?

    You can buy a solar panel for a one time payment of $499. Each panel will be allocated to each customer by row and number once their purchase has been approved.

  • How much energy will each panel produce?

    Each panel is rated at 315 watts and will produce up to 382 kilowatt hours per year.

  • How much will I be credited on my bill?

    Each customer that purchases a panel will be credited $.0633 per kilowatt hour.  Solar power generated from the community garden will go directly onto the MBLP electric grid and participants will be credited against their electric consumption for the electricity production from their portion of the solar array.  Credits will carry over from month to month for a period of 12 months from May 1 to April 30.  If any carry over credits exist on the last day of the 12 month period credits will be zeroed out. 

  • Who is eligible to participate?

    Any MBLP customer in good standing is eligible to take advantage of this program.  This includes residential, commercial, industrial and institutional customers. 

  • Will my purchase of solar panels qualify for the Federal Investment Tax Credit?

    It is the sole responsibility of the customer to take any steps necessary to determine your eligibility to claim the federal tax credit.  Please consult with your tax professional for more information.

  • How do I determine the number of panels I should buy?

    Click MBLP Community Solar and check out the Solar Math table for more information.

  • How much will it cost to participate in the program?

    The upfront cost for each 315 watt solar panel is only $499, or $1.59 per watt for purchases of 1 to 30 panels.  People may purchase up to the number of panels that would generate the equivalent of their average annual electricity demand.  The MBLP, at it's discretion, will make the final determination of the number of panels a customer can license.

  • What do I get in return for my purchase?

    The amount of your utility credit will depend upon how many solar panels you license.  Over the course of a year we estimate this to be just over $24 per year, per panel.  Your "payback" is estimated to be in Year 20 out of your 25 year lease.  You will not have any additional expenses for upkeep and repairs to the solar array: that is the responsibility of the MBLP. 

  • What happens if I move to a different address?

    If you move to another property within MBLP's service territory, you will remain in the program at the new address.  If you leave the MBLP system, you have several license transfer opportunities.  If you are selling the property, you could include it in the sale price and the license would be transferred to new owner.  You can also choose to transfer the remainder of your license to another MBLP customer, including any individual, business, church, school or a favorite charitable organization so long as they meet criteria set forth in the Solar Land License and Management Agreement. 

  • If I participate, what is my legal agreement with this program?

    Participants will be required to read and accept the terms and conditions of the Solar Land License & Management Agreement as part of their application package to the program.  Click here for the Solar Land License & Management Agreement.

  • What do I need to do to sign up for the program?

    Print, read and sign the Solar Land License and Management Agreement,  Submit your signed agreement and payment of $499 per panel by mail or in person to the MBLP offices at 2200 Wright Street, Marquette, MI.

  • What is the MBLP's plan on snow removal?

    The Marquette Board of Light and Power (MBLP) has received questions from some of our customers regarding our snow removal plan for the customer-owned solar panels in the Community Solar Garden. The construction of the Solar Garden’s low maintenance non-tracking system and its location at the Marquette Energy Center was designed for maximum solar production during the peak solar months in the spring, summer and fall. Winter production due to the low angle of the sun is minimal under the best conditions.  Possible damage to the surface of the panels due to snow and ice removal, according to our solar contractor, far outweighs any financial benefit when considering the possible long term reduction of peak generation that could occur during the three high production seasons if the panels are damaged due to ice and snow removal.

    A review of the purchase agreement shows that it was not the intention of the MBLP to remove snow from the solar panels.  By design, this plan protects the customer’s investment by not causing potential damage and abrasion as a result of snow and ice removal methods ensuring that the panels continue to produce power well into the future.

    It is the MBLP’s intention, however, to regularly remove the snow that slides off and builds up at the base of the solar arrays which allows the solar panels to continue to naturally shed snow cover based on the outside temperature and the sun exposure.