The site of the former Chevrolet GM Plant at 1200 W. Eighth Street in Muncie where the city is in negotiations with a company based in Springport to develop and operate a solar energy operation on 53 acres. Staff photo by Jordan Kartholl
The site of the former Chevrolet GM Plant at 1200 W. Eighth Street in Muncie where the city is in negotiations with a company based in Springport to develop and operate a solar energy operation on 53 acres. Staff photo by Jordan Kartholl

MUNCIE — Muncie City Council gave its blessing Monday to action by the city administration to hire a contractor and continue to work to turn the site of a former General Motors factory into a solar panel field.

The city is in negotiation with a contractor, GM Development Companies (not affiliated with General Motors) to turn 53 acres into a solar field that would generate up to 24.6 million kWh of electricity. 

Construction and engineering have been estimated to cost about $17 million. 

Dan Gibson, attorney for the council, said the city is working with GM Development on creating a BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) agreement.

Under a BOT, government usually grants a private company the authority to finance, build and operate a project for a period of years, hoping to earn a profit. After that period, the project is returned to the public entity.

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