By Mickkayla Erbach, White Lake Area Climate Action Council Steering Committee Member
Going solar is more important than ever now, as climate change progresses and energy prices continue to rise. The Macbeth Solar Farm is located in Montague and is the largest solar farm in West Michigan! The farm has been fully functional and delivering energy to Consumers Energy’s electric grid since the beginning of 2022!! West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) and White Lake Area Climate Action Council (WLACAC) representatives, along with White Lake citizens had the opportunity to tour the Macbeth Solar Farm on July 27, 2022.
The tour consisted of Q&A, solar panel viewing, and thorough explanations of the operations.
Tour attendees were surprised to learn that the solar farm operates year round, with nine months of the year reaching full output. The farm makes minimal noise while providing 20 megawatts of AC energy, enough to power approximately 3,280 homes on an annual basis (source: EPA)! The solar panels on the farm are bifacial – see image – allowing for the maximum solar energy conversion and constant output. Energy produced by the solar farm is transmitted via Consumers Energy’s system and delivered to end users on the electrical grid.
White Lake residents expressed concern about the land’s ability to remain fruitful. Site staff overseeing the operations of the solar farm provided detailed plans for planting pollinators and maintaining healthy vegetation ground cover throughout the life of the project. The company expressed their care for the land, and that due to safety considerations, the solar farm is not open to community gardens and farming at this time.
The project’s goals include: protecting the farm’s natural plants and wildlife, providing solar energy for the local community, and fostering the collaboration between citizens to transition to sustainable energy resources. Tour attendees left informed and excited about the green transitions that are taking place in the White Lake area.
Are you interested in using this farm’s solar energy to power your home? Contact Consumers Energy for more information. Contact WLACAC@gmail.com for detailed notes from the tour.
Image of Macbeth Solar Farm courtesy of Irradiant