Holland State Park in Michigan has installed solar panels at its campground, as per a report.
The project comes under an agreement between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and South Lyon‘s Utopian Power, a new company that specializes in solar panel installation and maintenance.
“We did a project early in our company’s existence at Oden State Fish Hatchery, and the state used that installation as a pilot program for more solar work they wanted done. That project has been providing power for a little over a year, and we proved to the state that we’re capable of doing these things,” President Forrest Cohn said.
The state then issued another request for proposals for DNR sites in southwest Michigan, wherein Utopian won the bid. A power purchase agreement with the DNR was signed to provide nearly one megawatt of clean energy to seven state offices and parks. This is more than a hundred times the power generated through the pilot program.
The bid is for two sites in Holland: Holland State Park and the nearby Lake Macatawa Campground. Panels at Lake Macatawa Campground have already been put in place. The panels for Holland State Park will be placed on the main beach building and will be ready by the beginning of spring.
The deal with DNR includes installing systems of approximately 884 kilowatts, the first system being operational since the fall of last year. The department expects to save $1.4 million through a discontinued utility bill, as well as an agreement of 25 years for Utopian to construct and maintain the panels.
Other sites for the southwest agreement are Fort Custer Recreation Area, the DNR Customer Service Center in Plainwell, Ionia State Recreation Area, Muskegon State Park, P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, and Yankee Springs.
“This agreement is in line with our commitment at the state level to strategically deploy solar power across state-owned land where it makes sense, and to pursue clean energy solutions that protect public health, boost efficiency and make us more effective stewards of our natural environment,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in September.