Gaylord Solar

Project Overview

In December 2022, Wolverine Power Cooperative purchased the former Georgia Pacific property located next to the Gaylord Regional Airport and submitted plans to the regional transmission operator to interconnect a 150 MW solar array.

Wolverine is Michigan’s leader in new renewable energy—currently providing members with power that is 60 percent carbon-free. With a current renewable portfolio that includes more than 210 MW of wind and solar, Wolverine is pleased to continue growing that portfolio with the addition of the Gaylord Solar project.

Gaylord Solar is a utility-scale solar array to be constructed in Otsego County, Michigan. The facility, situated on roughly 1,000 acres of land, is expected to begin construction in spring of 2025 and will create an estimated 350 construction jobs for the area.

Once operational, Gaylord Solar will generate 150 MW of reliable, cost-competitive, and clean energy to Wolverine’s members, generating enough energy to supply more than 24,000 Michigan homes.

Fast Facts

  • Location
    Bagley Township in Otsego County, Michigan
    ~1 mile SW of Gaylord, Michigan

  • Project Size

  • Anticipated Completion
    Groundbreaking Q2 2025
    Commercial Operation Q4 2026

Frequently Asked Questions

Gaylord Solar will use bi-facial modules that will only occasionally reach a maximum height of 14 feet when mounted on a two-panel racking system. There are no hazardous materials in the panels that will be used. They are constructed of monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic wafers, connected with copper alloy electrical substrates, and pressed between two pieces of high-strength tempered glass.

No. PV modules are designed to absorb light as this is what causes them to generate electricity. They are further treated with an
anti-reflective material to further reduce any glare in order to increase the panel efficiency.

The panels will be recycled or sold on the secondary market. 23 PV module recycling centers currently operate in the U.S., including one in Cincinnati, Ohio, less than 500 miles from the Gaylord Solar site. It is anticipated that the panels will produce 70-75% of their nameplate rating at the end of the 35-year anticipated project life.

Wolverine is owned by and supplies wholesale electric power to seven members: Cherryland Electric Cooperative, Great Lakes Energy, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Midwest Energy & Communications, Presque Isle Electric & Gas, Spartan Renewable Energy, and Wolverine Power Marketing Cooperative. These cooperatives supply power to more than 268,000 homes, businesses, and farms in over 40 counties throughout Michigan.

No, the project will not create any perceptible noise for surrounding landowners. The loudest components within the project will be the transformers. The transformers within the substation will produce approximately 60-70 dB at 1 meter distance, which is approximately equivalent to being inside a moving car at 60 mph. Sound dissipates at 6 dB per every doubling of distance, so the ambient noise of the transformer at approximately 50 feet distance would produce 35-40 dB and approximate the noise disturbance of a refrigerator hum.

Yes, however, the only permanent light onsite would be at the substation and when work needs to occur at night. Lighting is likely not needed during construction since working hours are limited from sunrise to sunset. All lights will be shielded and downcasted to avoid contributing to area light pollution, and will be on timers and/or be motion activated.

Existing solar facilities have had no negative impact on adjacent property values, according to CohnReznick LLP. It was also noted in CohnReznick LLP’s report that proximity to the solar farms has not deterred sales of nearby agricultural land and residential single-family homes nor has it deterred the development of new single-family homes on adjacent land.


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