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Planned solar array will power state warehouse complex in Lansing

DTMB Solar Array Groundbreaking.jpg
Kevin Lavery
The DTMB's Mike Turnquist (left), acting DTMB director Michelle Lange (center) and the Lansing BWL's Calvin Jones (right) break ground on the new solar array at the state warehouse complex in Lansing.

Officials have broken ground on a new solar array in Lansing that will provide power to the state warehouse complex. 

The Department of Technology, Management and Budget runs six buildings that store equipment to maintain state office facilities and their grounds.

The solar array will consist of 334 panels providing 180,000 watts of electricity.

The site is expected to become carbon neutral within three years.

DTMB senior deputy director for state facilities administration Mike Turnquist says the solar array will reduce operating costs and save taxpayer dollars.

“This allows us to put money back in our pockets that we can invest in our buildings, and then do another project that lowers the operating cost, and then another, and another, so that these things pay for themselves,” Turnquist said.

Turnquist says energy efficiency programs have helped his department lower its utility costs by nearly 60 percent over the last 20 years.

The Lansing Board of Water and Light is assisting in the project.

BWL Energy program manager Patrick Walters says the solar array will help the state achieve its zero emissions goals.

“It makes the arrays economically feasible, and it also back feeds the BWL grid with energy,” Walters said. “So, it keeps the power going and keeps things local so BWL can remain that hometown utility.”

The cost of the solar array comes in at just over $835,000.

It’s expected to be completed by August 2023.

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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