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Solar Resources

Solar energy development is rapidly growing in Michigan as technology and price continue to become more accessible. For both small-scale and utility-scale projects, the resources below can help identify the right policies for your community.

Communities around the state are exploring solar power to offset the costs and emissions of other energy sources. Solar panels provide a flexible alternative to coal and gas power plants that can allow communities to produce clean energy for local residents and the rest of the state. These resources will help you prepare, plan, and zone for solar energy production in your community.

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Michigan Planning & Zoning Guidebook

Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy Systems: A Guide for Local Governments in Michigan, produced by Michigan State University and University of Michigan, includes an overview of solar energy, principles around how solar might fit within land-use patterns across the state, and sample zoning ordinance language.

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Integrating Solar Energy into Local Plans

Integrating Solar Energy into Local Plans, one of the American Planning Association's Solar Briefing Papers, is a short guide on incorporating goals, objectives, policies, and actions that support solar energy use into local plans.

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Sample Master Plan Language

Planning for Solar Energy, produced by the American Planning Association, is an in-depth report on how planners can promote solar energy use through local policy and action.

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Becoming Solar Ready Guidebook

Becoming Solar-Ready: A Guide for Michigan Governments, produced under a grant to the Clean Energy Coalition from the MEDC—Michigan Energy Office, includes sample permitting checklists, board and council resolutions, and planning/zoning language.

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SolarAPP+ is a platform tool that automates permitting of solar energy for local governments. 

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SolSmart is a national designation program that provides free technical assistance to local governments who take action to promote solar energy growth in their own community.

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Webinars on Planning & Zoning

A series of three webinars, produced as part of the Clean Energy & Energy Management webinar series, provide information and answer questions about planning and zoning for solar energy.

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More Resources

A table of additional documents and websites on preparing, planning, and zoning for solar energy production.