EGLE launches unique renewable energy ordinance database of Michigan communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 27, 2020
EGLE Media Office, EGLE-Assist@Michigan.gov, 517-284-9278
Julie Staveland, State Energy Program Specialist, StavelandJ@Michigan.gov, 517-420-8544

Comprehensive tool is first of its kind in state, nation

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) today launched a unique searchable database of municipal ordinances across Michigan that address siting for renewable energy installations. The database was developed in collaboration with the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan.

Over half of Michigan’s more than 1,800 municipalities have considered renewable energy in their zoning ordinances. The renewable energy zoning database is the first compilation of all renewable energy ordinances across the state and the first database of its kind in the nation.

“Wind and solar continue to grow as generation sources in Michigan and that demand will only increase in the coming years as utilities move away from fossil fuels,” said Liesl Clark, EGLE director. “This comprehensive database is a wonderful tool to help communities around the state. Community engagement is a critical component of economic development including the expansion of tax base through energy projects.”

The database is an in-depth resource guide for municipalities developing ordinances or for developers looking to site wind, solar, or other alternative energy projects. At-a-glance maps updated in real time will help users to quickly determine which municipalities are primed for renewable energy development with existing ordinances.

“Communities have wanted to see real world examples of how other Michigan communities are handling renewable zoning, but in the past it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack,” said Sarah Mills, senior project manager at the University of Michigan. “Through our grant from EGLE, we were able to compile the Michigan Zoning Database, a first in the nation, that is specifically related to energy zoning. We are pleased to partner with EGLE to bring this unique tool to the communities that need them most.”

The database is part of EGLE’s commitment to document how communities incorporate energy into their master plans or ordinances and provide the foundation for data-driven deliverables on polices to advance Michigan’s energy future. EGLE provides educational awareness of energy efficiency and renewable energy as well as technical, financial, and referral assistance.

The renewable energy zoning database is a key component of the Energy Future Initiative, a partnership between EGLE and the Graham Sustainability Institute, which transforms knowledge into real-world impact by catalyzing collaborations between students, researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders.

The renewable energy zoning database can be found at Michigan.gov/Energy.

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