Savion solar farm permit granted by panel

SANDS TOWNSHIP — A special-use permit for a proposed solar farm in Sands Township was approved by the Sands Township Planning Commission on Tuesday night.

The planning commission voted to approve the Superior Solar Project, headed by Savion LLC of Kansas City, Missouri, according to Savion officials.

“Our team is deeply grateful for the vote of confidence from the Sands Township Planning Commission last night in approving the special use permit,” Savion said in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon. “We are excited to continue developing a project that works for this community and lay(s) the groundwork for a future of energy independence for the Upper Peninsula.

“We’d like to extend a sincere thank you to the community members who spoke in support of the project. We appreciate all the valuable input and feedback from everyone who participated in this important process, and we look forward to a continued collaboration with the community.”

The solar farm is expected to produce 149.7 megawatts of power, serving the Midcontinent Independent System Operator power grid into the Dead River-Arnold 345 kilovolt line. The 1,500-acre solar farm is expected to be capable of powering around 35,000 homes.

Located on Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. property southwest of the intersection of Marquette County Road 480 and M-553, the site is also part of the Commercial Forest Act, which allows for public use of the land.

The project involves an estimated capital investment of $100 million to $150 million. Officials say it is expected to bring $15 million to $20 million in new property taxes to the local economy over its 30-year lifespan, along with 200 temporary construction jobs and two to four permanent full-time jobs.

The project is slated to break ground within three years.

Savion was founded in 2019 and is currently developing 69 solar projects in 24 states.

The company has 26 completed solar projects across 10 states, according to its website, including one in downstate Muskegon.

The project was met with both positive feedback and criticism from the community, with many stating concerns about Tuesday’s planning commission meeting in a virtual format.

Officials from Savion and Sands Township could not be reached by press time Wednesday.

More information will be published when available.

For more information, visit www.superiorsolarproject.com.

Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is rspitza@miningjournal.net.


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