Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company (Greenbacker) has expanded its Michigan footprint with the purchase of a 41-MW utility-scale solar project from Prism Power Partners. The Heathlands is to be the largest of two projects in Prism’s 53-MW 2022 Michigan portfolio joining the 12-MW pre-operational solar project which Greenbacker purchased earlier in 2021.
The facility was designed with the option to add co-located battery energy storage systems onsite. Power storage coupled with renewable energy offers numerous advantages, such as lowering consumer electric bills by discharging stored energy during periods of peak demand and saving power reserves for specific use during emergencies.
“We are excited to work again with Greenbacker to increase the supply of renewable energy in Michigan,” said Randall Wood, Managing Director of Prism. “Heathlands Solar, which represents Prism’s third utility-scale solar project in the state, will provide clean, reliable energy, as well as long-term economic development.”
This project marks Greenbacker’s third acquisition from developer Prism.
In 2019, Greenbacker acquired Prism’s 19-MW Electric City solar project, a facility located in southwestern Michigan. Similar to Electric City, Greenbacker plans to plant pollinator-friendly vegetation below the solar panels at Heathlands. These plants will support declining pollinator populations and sequester carbon in the earth via deeper root systems, which also improve a site’s soil stability and mitigate storm water runoff. Introducing this flora can help diminish operating costs as well by reducing the need for mowing and maintenance.
“We’re excited to help lower consumer power bills and increase clean energy availability across the state of Michigan,” said Charles Wheeler, CEO of GREC. “Our continuing partnership with Prism has helped support local jobs and create meaningful sustainable power generation for Michiganders—not to mention the additional benefits and dependability that can accompany any future energy storage functionality.”
With the acquisition of this project, Greenbacker will own approximately 2.18 GW of generating capacity (including assets that are to be constructed), comprising 1.82 GW of utility-scale and distributed solar facilities, 330.1 MW of wind facilities, 16.0 MW of battery storage, and 12.0 MW of biomass facilities.
Located in Manistee County, Heathlands has entered into a long-term PPA with an investment-grade offtaker. The project is expected to begin construction in early 2022 and reach commercial operations by the fourth quarter of the year.