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MI Solar Communities
Community Shared Solar refers to a solar-electric system which provides power and/or financial benefits to subscribing members of a community. Subscribers receive credits on their electric bills for their portion of the energy generated by their allotted panels. These panels are located in an array off-site, meaning they are not physically on the subscriber's home or business. In this case, "community" is flexibly defined. It can be defined by location or merely a group of people who are connected via their electric utility.
Many people want the benefits of solar but for a variety of reasons cannot install solar panels where they live. They may rent, have a compromised or shaded roof, or experience other factors which limit their ability to benefit from renewable energy. At the same time, funding for renewable energy projects is supported by all ratepayers and tax payers, so increasing access to the benefits of these projects is a matter of equity.
Michigan currently does not have enabling legislation for community solar, so community solar programs in Michigan are developed and managed through a local electric utility.
Energy Services participated in the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Energy for Low-Income Community Accelerator (CELICA), and continues to work with partners to address low-income energy challenges and provide access to alternative clean energy.
Webinars and Case Studies
July 12, 2023
October 17, 2023
November 1, 2023 1:00pm - 2:00pm
This webinar aims to provide information for advocates, organizations and local governments on how to finance and develop a community solar project, as presented in the updated Michigan Solar Communities Guidebook. The Michigan Solar Communities Guidebook features content about resources, sustainable finance options and examples of community solar models that fit into Michigan's framework. You won't want to miss this opportunity to learn what deployment and investment in solar energy means in Michigan.
November 27, 2023 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Reducing the Cost of Solar through GLREA Solarize is a webinar that aims to provide information for local governments, businesses, non-profit organizations, or community groups on how to group buy residential solar, as presented in the updated Michigan Solar Communities Guidebook. GLREA Solarize is a program that supports communities effort to make going solar more affordable and easier to access for individuals. Come to the webinar and learn about the basics of Solarize, which will include topics such as the partnership between the community and an installer, community outreach and education, examples of Solarize models and more.
December 4, 2023 1:00pm - 2:00pm
This webinar provides information for advocates, organizations, and local governments about energy efficiency and geothermal energy, as presented in the updated Michigan Solar Communities Guidebook. This webinar is designed to provide attendees with an understanding of geothermal energy and how to access other related resources to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Join us to learn the basics of geothermal energy, participation in initiatives like NCSP, and case studies of community scale geothermal systems in Michigan.
MI Solar Community Guidebook (Coming Soon)
Your guide to community solar in Michigan which includes resources, sustainable finance option, community solar model examples, and more!
Upcoming Webinars (Coming Soon)
CELICA Phase I: Co-op Utility Community Solar Project - In 2018 Energy Services partnered with Cherryland Cooperative and the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency to implement a Low-Moderate Income Community Solar project for up to 50 low-income households in the Grand Traverse region. Each household underwent weatherization upgrades to their homes and were assigned nine (9) panel shares from which they will receive a monthly credit.
CELICA Phase II: Municipality Utility Community Solar Project - In 2019 Energy Services partnered with the Village of L'Anse and the Baraga-Houghton-Keweenaw Community Action Agency to implement a Low-Income Community Solar project for up to 25 low-income households in the Village of L'Anse. Each household underwent weatherization upgrades to their homes and purchased up to ten (10) panels. The panels are financed through on-bill financing and the subscribers can view the solar credit on their electric bill.
CELICA Phase III: Investor Owned Utility Community Solar Project - In 2021 Energy Services partnered with Consumers Energy and the Capital Area Community Services to implement a Low-income Community Solar project for up to 50 low-income households in Lansing.
- 2020 Clean Energy States Alliance State Leadership in Clean Energy (SLICE) Award