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Geronimo Energy, a National Grid company, announced today the start of construction activities for two Michigan solar projects for which Consumers Energy previously executed Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). The projects, Bingham Solar and Temperance Solar, are part of a solar portfolio called MiSolar Portfolio and are located in Clinton and Monroe counties, respectively. Both projects are expected to begin operations by the end of this year. Geronimo has contracted with Michigan-based Engineering, Construction, and Procurement (EPC) contractor, J. Ranck Electric, Inc. (JRE), to construct the projects.
“We look forward to furthering Geronimo’s commitment to the state of Michigan,” stated David Reamer, President for Geronimo Energy. “Solar projects like these are not possible without the collective support of customers like Consumers, partners like J. Ranck, and local residents who live in the project communities. Together with these key stakeholders, we are excited to start construction and begin to provide the associated local benefits to the people in the great state of Michigan, such as new tax revenue, in-state spending, and job creation.”
Combined, the projects will produce 40 megawatts (MW) alternating current of clean, solar energy and will power an estimated 8,000 Michigan homes. Together with its affiliated entities, Geronimo Energy will own and operate both solar projects, and Consumers Energy will purchase the energy they produce. Using the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, the combined projects are estimated to offset carbon dioxide emissions by 50,000 metric tons annually.
“With these projects, we’ll put an estimated 120 Michigan construction workers on the job and further J. Ranck Electric’s role in growing our state’s renewable energy infrastructure,” JRE’s Business Development Director Scott Walker said. “We could not be more proud and excited to work with Consumers Energy and Geronimo to build these solar projects.”
Geronimo, which has successfully developed over 2,400 MW of wind and solar projects across the nation that are currently under construction or in operation, has a long history in the state of Michigan. Geronimo developed the operational Apple Blossom Wind Farm, a 100 MW project in Michigan’s thumb region, and has a broad development pipeline of renewable energy projects across the state, ranging from greenfield to advanced developments, in excess of 600 MW.
“Apple Blossom, developed by Geronimo Energy, is the largest supplier of PPA wind energy in our portfolio. We are encouraged to work with Geronimo on these solar projects in Clinton and Monroe counties, which will increase renewable energy in Michigan and build momentum to help us fulfill our Clean Energy Plan,” said Timothy Sparks, Vice President of Electric Grid Integration for Consumers Energy. “Consumers Energy along with clean energy developers are committed to working with our community neighbors to build a cleaner energy future for Michigan.”
“National Grid and Geronimo have a strong commitment to our communities, and we are excited to begin construction and bring the economic benefits of solar energy to Clinton and Monroe Counties,” stated Daniel Westerman, President, Distributed & Renewable Energy for National Grid. “The well-being of our employees, partners and community members is one of our many core values – and bringing low-cost, clean energy to the state of Michigan, while simultaneously providing local economic development to these project host communities, directly aligns with that principle.”
Geronimo was founded with deep roots in agriculture and an understanding and respect for farming practices. As such, Geronimo develops each of its projects with the goal that they will benefit the local area for generations to come. Geronimo is committed to providing each of its project host communities with the best information possible, prompt responsiveness, and expert advice. As a farmer-friendly company, community outreach is an important aspect of Geronimo’s process.
“Geronimo has been a pleasure to work with on their Bingham Solar project,” indicated Doug Riley, Clinton County Community Development Director. “They worked very cooperatively with the County throughout the permitting process to address our requirements and the needs of the local community. We certainly look forward to the completion of this key renewable energy project next year.”
“Geronimo worked closely with Erie Township on their application for the development of the Temperance Solar Project,” commented Michael Demski, Township Building/Zoning Department Official for Erie Township. “We were pleased to work with a company that truly cares about the project’s host community and communicated openly throughout the entire planning and approval process.”