To extend the accessibility and availability of solar power to all Michigan residents, a new statewide alliance has formed to advocate for solar energy savings, economic opportunities and of customer empowerment.
The Michigan Community Solar Alliance (MCSA) is pushing for the passage of House Bills 4715 and 4716, legislation to amend Michigan law to allow subscription-based community solar projects in the state. Direct participation in these programs is currently prohibited by state law, restricting who can access solar power.
MCSA is led by 13 founding organizations that work together to increase solar opportunities in Michigan. The Alliance includes:
- Michigan Builders & Associate Contractors
- 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 Energy Conservative Forum
- Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council
- Michigan Energy Options
- Michigan Environmental Council
- Michigan League of Conservation Voters
- Sierra Club Michigan
- Vote for the Solar Action Fund
“The expansion of community solar projects will give Michiganders, who have some of the highest energy costs in the Midwest, more opportunities to lower their energy costs with affordable solar power,” said Nick Occhipinti of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “It’s time to cut red tape and unnecessary barriers to community solar power so Michigan communities can reduce air and water pollution, fight climate change, and save money on energy costs.
MCSA is supporting House Bills 4715 and 4716, sponsored by State Representatives Michele Hoitenga and Rachel Hood, to update state law to allow access to community solar power in Michigan. Adding local solar installations will make the electricity grid stronger and more resilient, as a network of local solar installations can help equalize the electrical load.
“Legislation allowing community solar power would expand the market for solar projects across the state, creating local jobs, expanding existing businesses and attracting new businesses to the state,” said Laura Sherman, president of Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. “A robust community solar market would give Michigan residents and businesses more options for choosing solar power and that’s good for Michigan jobs and small businesses.”