Grand Rapids reviews solar sites - Smart Energy Decisions

Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 3, 2019

Grand Rapids reviews solar sites

Grand Rapids, Mich., city officials are evaluating solar projects to help them meet their 2025 goal of generating all of their power from renewable energy sources, including one at the former Butterworth Landfill. 

The city evaluated eight sights and while previous models showed the locations would be too costly to consider, a re-evaluation is now underway and indicates that the Butterworth Landfill could potentially host a 15 megawatt (MW) project. Grand Rapids officials are hoping to begin accepting bids by the end of this year, according to, which reported that a third-party would maintain the facility. 

The City of Grand Rapids would build and own some of the other remaining sites, which could generate another 4MW of electricity, based on a U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory study that reviewed the potential locations. 

Grand Rapids city officials are looking to receive a “SolSmart” community designation, a national program from the U.S. Department of Energy that evaluates solar-friendly policies of local governments. So far, Ypsilanti. Mich., is the only city in the state to receive the SolSmart designation. 

“In the next four years, we’re trying to create and support policies that will help reduce carbon emissions across the community,” said Alison Waske Sutter, sustainability and performance management officer for the City of Grand Rapids.

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