FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 2, 2021
Michigan Municipal League backs community solar, joins statewide alliance
Municipalities across Michigan would benefit financially from community solar expansion
Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan Municipal League today backed community solar legislation by joining the Michigan Community Solar Alliance (MCSA).
The League (MML) advocates on behalf of more than 520 municipalities across the state and has joined MCSA to support House Bills 4715 and 4716, sponsored by state Reps. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) and Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton). The bills would allow community solar projects in Michigan, making additional tax revenue available to municipalities across the state.
The addition of MML to the Alliance strengthens the widespread support for community solar in Michigan. Recent polling conducted by the Epic MRA showed that three out of four people support the concept. There are countless communities across the state that stand to benefit from the allowance of community solar.
“The future of Michigan’s energy is renewables and community solar is an important component to ensuring all people and institutions have access to solar,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “It is the path we’ve been on and we’ve made great strides in expanding energy generation from wind and solar in recent years. In Grand Rapids, we are working on increasing the amount of solar we have installed for municipal operations to help us achieve our 100% renewable energy use goal by 2025 and we have been advocating for an easier pathway for residents and institutions interested in solar. Community solar is essential in helping us reach all of these aggressive goals.”
L’Anse Village, in Baraga County in the Western Upper Peninsula, has already experienced the benefits of community solar in action after participation in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s solar program.
“Community solar in L’Anse is just that – community. It was important for us to design and implement a program that allows all of our residents, regardless of income, the opportunity to utilize this technology while also saving money and making a difference with the environment,” said L’Anse Village Manager Bob LaFave. “Community solar will help build stronger communities and a better Michigan. The Village of L’Anse’s Community Solar is a point of pride for our citizens now and for years to come. We are thrilled to see opportunity for access to expand across the state, and proud that the Michigan Municipal League has joined the Alliance.”
Community solar refers to a solar array located within a community where multiple customers can subscribe and receive a credit on their utility bill for their share of the power that is produced, just as if the panels were on their own roof.
“Community solar will bring increased energy choice, cost-savings on utility bills, and increased tax revenue for municipalities across the state,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director for the League. “Support for this issue is strong and we’re pleased to have our organization join the Alliance as this issue is a win-win for people and municipalities in every corner of Michigan.”
More than 50 percent of American households don’t have access to solar power because they either rent, live in a multi-tenant building, have roofs unable to host a solar system, or live in a service territory of a utility that won’t allow it. Through community solar, people could be connected to a local solar installation who would provide subscribers with equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar generation.
MML joins MCSA, which was formed in May 2021 as its 14th founding member. Other founding members include:
- Associated Builders and Contractors Michigan
- The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America – Michigan Chapter
- Coalition for Community Solar Access
- Ecology Center
- Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association
- MI Air MI Health
- Michigan Conservative Energy Forum
- Michigan Democratic Party – Environmental Caucus
- Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council
- Michigan Energy Options
- Michigan Environmental Council
- Michigan League of Conservation Voters
- Sierra Club Michigan
- Vote Solar Action Fund
For more information about the Alliance, visit www.micommunitysolaralliance.com.