Ypsilanti approves lease agreement with DTE Energy for proposed $4M solar array
Courtesy city of Ypsilanti
The Ypsilanti City Council voted unanimously, with Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson absent, to approve the agreement and easement Tuesday night.
DTE asked the city to approve the lease and agreement for the project in advance of DTE's final selection.
If Ypsilanti is selected for the project, DTE is interested in the project going into service by the end of the 2013.
On Dec. 4, the Ypsilanti City Council approved a letter of intent with SunDurance Energy for the development of a solar array on the city’s former landfill as part of a request for proposals issued by DTE for sites and solar power generating systems.
"This is one step in the process," said Dan Thompson, a SunDurance representative. "We are going to be submitting our formal proposal. We are very hopeful DTE is going to select it. We'll know after we submit the proposal fairly shortly."
Proposals will be compared to each other for final selection based on various factors including location and price. SunDurance has refined its proposal based on feedback from DTE.
The initial proposal submitted was for a 1.3 MW installation, but DTE has indicated to SunDurance that it is interested in a smaller installation on the site of around 750 kW.
SunDurance asked Ypsilanti to approve two different sized installations as options DTE can consider in weighing the proposal. Both options are included in the attached easement and lease agreement with slightly varying rental rates.
The options are as follows:
- A 750 kW system to be located west of an existing access road. If this were to be chosen, the annual payment to the city would be $40,000.
- A 1000 kW system located on both sides of an existing access road. If this were to be chosen, the annual payment to the city would be $44,000.
The proposed project would cover about 4.5 acres of the 7-acre property near Spring Street and just north of the westbound Interstate 94 Huron Street exit.
A one-time construction payment of $20,000 must be made within 30 days of the execution of the lease. A large digital billboard is currently on the property and the city receives $35,000 per year for that lease.
As per the terms of the letter of intent, the city received $2,000 from SunDurance for continuing to hold the property for the potential development.
The proposed array will be a ground-mounted, fixed-tilt system, requiring minimal or no penetration of the surface of the site.
If the proposal is selected, SunDurance will submit site plans and a Planned Unit Development application for approval with the city. The PUD process would first go to the Planning Commission for a recommendation and then to city council for a public hearing and approval.
"I think it's a great project," said Council Member Pete Murdock.