GENERIC: Solar panel

The Shiawassee County Planning Commission has given the go ahead for a massive energy project that is expected to invest millions of dollars in Mid-Michigan.

On Wednesday, Jan. 23, the commission approved a special use permit for Ranger Power, the final step in the zoning approval process.

"Last night the company received final approval for a special use permit to be able to build on the property in Hazelton in Venice Township. It was approved unanimously by the planning commission so we're full speed ahead," said Justin Horvath, president of Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership. 

The company wants to build a solar farm in Hazelton and Venice Townships on about 1,200 acres of primarily fields and vacant land.

The project is expected to create more than 300 jobs and pump millions into the local economy during construction.

"Millions of dollars will be going to local contractors to build this. Landowners will be receiving money, local governments and local schools who are desperate for funding will get lots of dollars as well," Horvath said.

He admits everyone isn't happy but said Ranger Power is working on addressing the concerns. 

“We appreciate the support from local community members, businesses, neighbors and residents as we sought approval for the Assembly Solar Project,” said Sergio Trevino, director of permitting at Ranger Power. “The strong partnership we have forged will ensure this project is a win for the entire community, creating more jobs and revenue for schools and public safety.”

Work is slated to begin late this year.

For more on the project, click here.

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