The planned solar installation at 5 MSU parking lots will be the largest such system in the state Michigan State University

The planned solar installation at 5 MSU parking lots will be the largest such system in the state.

Solar project at Michigan State University will go forward

The planned installation, touted to be the largest in Michigan, will proceed even though the company installing the system received a smaller-than-expected tax incentive.

A solar energy project on the campus of Michigan State University, billed as largest such installation in the state, will go forward even though the company spearheading the project has received a smaller-than-expected tax incentive.

The Lansing State Journal reports that Inovateus, a South Bend, Ind., company that Michigan State selected for the solar project, had said it needed a 25-year personal property tax abatement from the city of East Lansing to make the proposal financially feasible.

Last week, the East Lansing City Council, citing its policy that limits the length of tax-abatement agreements, approved a 10-year abatement.

But in the aftermath of the council vote, Inovateus officials say the project will go forward. The company says the abatement will save it $2.6 million on taxes over 10 years, as opposed to $4.4 million over 25 years.

Michigan State University's Board of Trustees approved the $24 million proposal last year. The university estimates that it will create 65 temporary and permanent jobs.

The installation will place five solar arrays in parking lots in the southern part of the East Lansing campus. It is designed to generate 10 megawatts of power, or about one-sixth the energy used on campus during peak hours.

Construction is expected to begin later this year.

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