What a year it has been! This past year has had its fair share of challenges, for all of us, but 2021 has also been an important year for advancing the Azalia Solar project. We'd like to take a moment to recap some high points, share some important updates, and preview a few things to look forward to in 2022.
Design work for Azalia Solar is currently under way. As part of that, a number of field surveys and studies are being conducted to make sure we are designing a responsible project. Our development and engineering teams have been working to refine our proposed layout, which includes mapping the project area for floodplains, delineating wetlands, and conducting ALTA surveys.
Over the next several weeks we will be conducting geotechnical studies on participating properties throughout the Azalia Solar project area. You will likely see crews out working in fields over the next few weeks installing/removing test piles and taking soil boring samples. In case you were wondering, this is not the start of construction, but is part of our pre-permitting studies to inform our site plan that will be presented to townships as part of our special use permit application. If you have any questions or if there are any issues that may arise during this process, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
(Example of Test Piles - snow not included)
We have also begun reaching out to neighboring property owners to talk with them about where panels may be located, get feedback on our vegetative screening plans, and offer those with property abutting the solar farm the opportunity to participate in the project. Our Public Engagement Organizer Colin Kummerfeldt will continue reaching out to neighboring property owners over the next month or two to address any concerns they may still have and to see if they are interested in joining the project. We are proud that the degree of community collaboration we strive for is unparalleled in this industry.
Once our application materials are ready, we will begin the township permitting process. It is expected that this will take several months as the application and site plan is reviewed by the Planning Commission and Board in both London and Milan Township. We hope to complete that process and have our special use permit in hand by the end of 2022.
Office Opening: One of our proudest moments of 2021 was to officially take up residence in the Collins Center and officially be a member of the Milan community. Thanks to Milan Mayor Dominic Hamden and the Milan Area Chamber of Commerce for organizing a ribbon-cutting and welcoming us to the community, as well as the many area residents who have stopped by the office since it opened to learn more about the project. You can see a recap of the office opening on Facebook HERE and HERE.
Community Grant Program: The program has provided more than $14,000 so far this year to local organizations working to build healthy communities, increase environmental sustainability, foster economic development, and promote education in the Greater Milan community, including the following causes:
- A $4,000 grant to support senior transportation through Milan Seniors for Healthy Living.
- $4,000 to the Monroe County Opportunity Program for emergency food services.
- A $400 grant to Moving Milan Forward for the installation of a community bike pump.
- A $2,000 grant to Aid in Milan to support the purchase of a new refrigerator and building work.
- A $750 sponsorship to the Milan High School Football Program.
- A $450 grant to purchase vermiculture supplies to encourage student learning on waste and composting at Symons Elementary School.
- A $1,000 grant supporting the Milan High School Drum Line.
- A $1,000 grant to support the Earl Gladfelter American Legion Post 268 for their seawall project.
- A $1,000 grant supporting Milan High School Code Red Robotics, FRC Team 5567.
We are still accepting applications until December 15th for our last grant cycle of the year. If your organization is interested in applying you can learn more at: www.azaliasolar.com/grant.
Milan Cares Clean Up Day: Members of the Azalia Solar team were proud to personally lend a hand as part of the Milan Cares Spring Clean-up on April 10. Azalia Solar also sponsored the participation of two youth sports teams to help ensure roadways in both Milan and London Township benefited from the annual clean-up effort. Thanks again to the high school volleyball team from Milan Big Red Athletics for lending us a hand around Cone Road and US-23 in Milan Township and to members of the swim team for their work in London Township Milan, MI.
Staying in Touch
We hope to hold an additional open house at our offices in early 2022 to present our proposed layout and answer questions from community members about the project. In the meantime, you can stay up to date on the latest news by following us on Facebook or visiting our website at AzaliaSolar.com. You should also feel free to contact us any time at [email protected] or by calling 734-294-5659. Also, don't hesitate to drop in on open office hours every Thursday between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. We hope to see you soon!
With that being said, we thank you again for your engagement with the project and hope your Holiday Season is merry, spent with friends and family, and we wish you a peaceful and prosperous New Year!
The Azalia Solar Team