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Community Solar Supporters Testify before Michigan House Committee

Michigan Business Network
November 8, 2023 2:00 PM

Hearing comes as Michigan continues to advance clean energy policies
LANSING, Mich. – A coalition of groups advocating for expanding community solar testified in support of House Bills 4464- 4465 during today’s Michigan House Energy, Communications and Technology Committee meeting.
The legislation comes as lawmakers have voted for the Clean Energy Future package, which will make Michigan a regional leader in clean, renewable energy, like wind and solar, and help our state address the dangerous pollution causing climate change. The bills also hold big utilities accountable to move toward 100% clean energy by 2040, reduce our energy use through energy efficiency and conservation measures and apply more resources toward health and safety upgrades for low-income residents.
“When it comes to clean energy, our work is not done,” said Alexis Blizman, policy director for the Ecology Center. “Community solar projects remain an essential part of the transition to clean, renewable energy, holding big utilities accountable and improving the reliability of our electric grid. Without community solar, nearly 70% of Michigan households will not have access to solar energy, including those who rent or live in multi-family housing. We urge lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to support these bills.”
Small businesses, churches, community centers and more will benefit from the community solar policies included in the bills. Without the legislation, Michigan will miss out on the opportunity to direct up to $250 million in competitive, federal grant funding to low-income, independently subscribed community solar systems, plus tax incentives that will mobilize hundreds of millions more in private funding.
“Health professionals support widespread community solar,” said Elizabeth Del Buono MD, president of Michigan Clinicians for Climate Action. “Not only will such legislation dramatically improve access to solar energy, but when paired with battery storage, it will also help make our grid more reliable during dangerous power outages thereby protecting the health of vulnerable patients dependent on electricity to breathe and be mobile.”
An economic impact report from Michigan State University shows $1.5 billion in overall economic benefits from a third-party community solar program.
Additional groups supporting the community solar bills include: Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA), Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, Sierra Club, Elevate, Michigan Climate Action Network, Vote Solar, and Evergreen Action.
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