Traverse City News and Events

Cherryland Electric Makes Further Move Into Solar

Oct. 29, 2021

Cherryland Electric Cooperative is expanding its foray into solar power. Cherryland’s power supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative, is partnering with Idaho-based Clēnera to build the Gemstone Solar Project, a 150-megawatt, utility-scale solar array. The project is part of a 20-year power purchase agreement and will be the first large-scale solar project for Michigan co-op power generation that is not a community solar project. The Gemstone Solar Project will be more than 100 times the size of the 1.2-megawatt SpartanSolar community array in Cadillac (pictured).

Once operational, the addition of the Gemstone Solar Project has the potential to supply an additional 10 percent of carbon free energy to Cherryland members. Construction of the array is set to begin in spring 2023 on approximately 1,000 acres of land in southwest Michigan’s Cass County. The project is expected to take about nine months. Once operational, the Gemstone Solar Project will produce enough energy to power 24,000 Michigan homes a year.

“Cherryland has long stressed the importance of having a diverse and balanced power supply portfolio in order to provide reliable, clean, and affordable energy to our members. Not only will this project provide much needed generation opportunities in the state, but it will benefit Cherryland members for years to come,” said Cherryland General Manager Tony Anderson.

Cherryland Electric Cooperative is a member-owned electric utility serving 34,000 members in the Grand Traverse region. Wolverine Power Cooperative is a cooperative serving the wholesale power supply needs of seven member-owners: Cherryland Electric Cooperative (Grawn); Great Lakes Energy (Boyne City); HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative (Portland); Midwest Energy & Communications (Cassopolis); Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (Onaway); Spartan Renewable Energy (Cadillac); and Wolverine Power Marketing Cooperative (Cadillac).

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