Concerns over the location of a proposed solar panel farm have prompted Hartland Consolidated School officials to research potential new sites.
The Hartland School Board had originally approved a proposed site plan for the DTE Energy solar-energy farm on the corner of Dunham and Hartland Roads during the Nov. 26 meeting. The proposed plan was then presented to members of the Hartland Township during an informal meeting on Nov. 27 where representatives from the school and DTE were also present.
The location issue was discussed and according to Hartland Township Planning Director Dave Campbell, the visibility factor on the corner location was the main concern.
“We didn’t have concerns necessarily with the concept of solar panels, we just had concerns with having it at that corner,” Campbell said. “We kind of think of it as the gateway into the village, so we asked them to explore if there were any other areas on the school campus that could fit."
Assistant Superintendent Scott Bacon, who was also present during the Nov. 27 meeting, said that new locations around the school campus were being looked at and reviewed.
“We heard what they were saying, so we’re looking to find a site that would make everyone happy, so to speak,” Bacon said. “And fill the function we were looking for which was primarily an education component.”
DTE officials, according to Bacon, are considering a possible location on the north side of Hartland High School between the high school campus and Hartland Middle School.
Research is being done by DTE to determine if the site will be usable and appropriate to fit their needs. Bacon said he expects to hear an answer if the new location would fit DTE's requirements by the early part of January.
The Hartland School Board would then have to approve the new location before sending the revised proposal to the Township.
"It sounds pretty hopeful that that location could work," Bacon said. "I would be pretty surprised if we had any issues with the Township if we move it to a location like the one we’re looking at now."