CORUNNA — The Shiawassee County Board’s Committee of the Whole Wednesday advanced a motion to approve a decommissioning agreement with Assembly Solar to ensure the county will not bear the costs of returning land to its original state in the event the solar farm fails.
The proposal ensures about $2.6 million will be available to decommission the solar farm. It is 125 percent of the expected costs of decommissioning the three sites.
Assembly Solar is constructing a $250-million power facility in Hazelton and Venice townships.
The company can’t begin construction on the project until it provides the county with “either a decommissioning bond, decommissioning self-renewing irrevocable line of credit or cash escrow at an authorized financial institution,” according to the agreement.
According to county officials, the decommissioning agreement is a financial pact between the county and Assembly Solar that dictates that the company ensures the decommissioning plan is funded even if the company files for bankruptcy.
The agreement covers the decommissioning of both solar farm sites Assembly Solar is getting ready to build, as well as the substation to support them.
Assembly solar also has to conduct an annual audit of decommissioning costs and adjust the amount they have available accordingly.
If and when the county issues a demolition permit for the site, the decommissioning process must be completed within one year.
Assembly solar will have to do a number of things as part of the decommissioning agreement. It will have to remove all solar equipment systems and structural foundations, grade and stabilize the soil and revegetate it. The agreement states that Assembly Solar “must restore the land to a stable condition consistent with the conditions existing prior to the establishment of the project.”
The project will be developed on approximately 1,245 acres of farm fields and farm land, leased from eight area landowners, for 20 to 40 years.
Assembly Solar will generate 239 megawatts of electricity for Consumers Energy.