ESCANABA — It was suggested last week that Escanaba should market itself as a green community. Escanaba City Councilman Ralph Blazier suggested it after touring the new solar garden at the Delta County Airport.
Escanaba City Manager Patrick Jordan doesn’t think the idea is too far-fetched.
“We shutdown a fossil fuel burning power plant and built a solar garden, renewable energy. We should market ourselves that way for some of those millennials to come here and set up little web cafes and shops and stuff. You never know,” he said.
Escanaba is in the process of setting up a way to sell solar panels installed at the site to homeowners and businesses that want to offset their energy costs with green energy.
In comparison, Escanaba’s solar garden is about the same size at the one built by Heritage Sustainable Energy on the Garden Peninsula but is larger than the one built by the city of Marquette. Plus, Escanaba can expand it’s solar garden in the future if they want to.
Jordan said solar energy is going to be a part of the community for a long time.
“Down the road you look at the cost benefit and go ‘now it’s time to take these panels down and put up new ones.’ Because you have all the infrastructure to support it already. It’s going to be for inpertuaty,” said Jordan.
The solar garden started operating on Aug. 25. It will only produce about 2 percent of the city’s energy needs which is about 130 homes.