Powering Strong Communities

Traverse City, Mich., Awarded State Funding for Solar and Battery Storage Project

The City of Traverse City, Mich., has been awarded a Michigan Public Service Commission Low Carbon Infrastructure Enhancement and Development Grant in the amount of $1,685,479.

City staff worked with Jacobs and Traverse City Light & Power to draft and submit an application in January 2023 for a solar and battery storage project.

In December 2022, the City Commission approved the preparation of a grant application for up to $2 million to the Michigan Public Service Commission Low Carbon Energy Infrastructure Enhancement and Development Grant for possible funding to purchase and install a solar system with battery storage.

The intent is to install solar arrays on the rooftops of the Traverse City Wastewater Treatment Plant buildings.

The Wastewater Treatment Plant uses approximately 5,048 MWh of electricity annually, based on an analysis of monthly electric bills. The total cost is about $411,525 for a unit cost of $0.082/kWh. The solar PV plant would produce about 510 MWh per year of electricity, about 10% of the WWTP annual consumption.

The solar project would reduce the WWTP’s electricity costs by approximately $41,000 each year. Over a 25-year lifespan, this project would save the city at least $1.025 million in operations costs. The project is anticipated to reduce annual CO2e Emissions by 300 metric tons per year.

The City Commission’s 2022 adopted goals and objectives identified climate as a strategic priority with a goal to address climate within the city’s priorities, goals, policies, and actions. In addition, Traverse City Light & Power is developing a Climate Action Plan.

The total project budget is $1,921,245. The city will need to identify $235,765 of the additional funds needed in the future.