Muncie To Purchase Former GM Manufacturing unit Land To Construct Solar Farm
The former GM property on W. 8th St. is currently largely vacant fallow land.
City of Muncie
The City of Muncie is buying the former GM factory property on the south side of the city in the hope of converting it into a solar panel farm for power generation.
The former General Motors plant closed in 2006 and the property has been largely empty since the buildings were demolished. Muncie will buy 53 acres from the trust that owns the land. Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour says solar panels will be added to produce more than 24 million kWh of energy.
“A wasteland that’s been sitting there for more than a dozen years – maybe 15 years. It is important for the neighborhood to see something new. It is important for the city to see something new. “
Ridenour says he will not be allowed to reveal the sale price for the property until it is completed and that the city has until the end of the year to do so. The city council has already approved the cost of a solar panel farm, which is expected to be around $ 17 million. However, the solar energy generated will significantly reduce the city’s energy costs.
“Well, our street lights alone cost more than half a million dollars a year.”
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The RACER Trust, which owns the land, remains responsible for environmental clean-up. Phase 1 of a required environmental impact study began this week.
Ridenour hopes to get an ordinance to the city council approving the purchase in March. Due to changes in state law, solar projects created this year will get more money for the next decade if they return additional energy that is generated back to the power grid. According to Ridenour, the city hopes to meet this deadline.
The city also says the Muncie Sanitary District will create three more solar panels on the property it already owns to help this agency use electricity.