Planning & Zoning for Solar in Michigan: A Primer for Local Government

Date: November 8, 2017 - November 13, 2017
Time: 6 - 9 p.m.
Contact: Harmony Gmazel, 734-222-3832,

In fall 2016, the Michigan legislature amended the Clean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction Act (PA 295 of 2008) with passage of PA 342 of 2016 requiring electric providers to achieve a renewable energy credit portfolio of at least 15% by 2021.

Additionally, the cost of electricity from solar has dropped by nearly 75% since 2009, and is expected to fall 66% further by 2040, by some accounts.

With such events and trends, owners of large tracts of property in Michigan and local governments are seeing increased activity among solar energy developers exploring options for solar energy development. In response, Michigan State University Extension developed this training program for local government officials on planning and zoning for solar energy.

This workshop is an opportunity for local government officials to learn about steps and considerations for planning and zoning for solar energy development. The workshop will cover:

  • The Context of Solar Energy Development, including the new Michigan law and the state of the industry;
  • Introduction to Types/Scales of Solar, including Michigan examples;
  • Local Government Planning Approaches for Solar, with emphasis on planning for marginal lands first; and
  • Zoning Tools and Techniques for Solar, including siting and feasibility concerns.

Where: There are 7 workshop locations/dates:

Traverse City - November 8
Michigan WORKS! Service Center
1209 S. Garfield Ave., Suite C
Traverse City, MI 49686

East Lansing - November 8
MSU Union - Room 50
49 Abbot Rd.
East Lansing, MI 48824

Caro - November 8 - CANCELLED
Tuscola County MSU Extension Training Room
362 Green St.
Caro, MI 48723

Escanaba - November 13 - CANCELLED
Delta Boardroom, CUPPAD Offices
2950 College Ave.
Escanaba, MI 49829

Hancock - November 13 (distance learning connection to Escanaba) - CANCELLED
Copper Country ISD
809 Hecla St.
Hancock, MI 49930

Sault Ste. Marie - November 13 (distance learning connection to Escanaba) - CANCELLED
Sault Ste. Marie SmartZone
2345 Meridian St.
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

Vicksburg - November 13, 5:30-8:30pm
Vicksburg Library Heritage Room
215 S. Michigan Ave.
Vicksburg, MI 49097

When: All workshops (except Vicksburg) run 6 - 9 p.m. Master Citizen Planners will earn 3 hours of continuing education.

$55 for Regular Registrants
$50 for Master Citizen Planners and groups of two or more from the same municipality

There is a fee of $15 for cancellations after Nov. 1.

Program cost includes handouts and light refreshments.

Preregistration is required. Registration will not be available on-site.

Instructors: All instructors are MSU faculty/staff with professional planning experience.


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