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Michigan on the cusp of its clean energy future

The Clean Energy Future Plan, passed by Michigan’s House and Senate and now awaiting the Governor’s signature, will move the state closer to 100% clean energy.

The legislation, which includes Senate Bills 271, 273 and 502, calls for 50% renewable energy by 2030, ramping up to 60% by 2035 and 100% by 2040. The rooftop solar cap will be increased from 1% to 10% of each utility’s average peak load. The legislation also sets an energy storage standard of 2.5 GW.

Michigan is known as the center of U.S. automotive manufacturing, with three major automobile companies headquartered in the Detroit area. However, it has also been a trendsetter as far as moving to clean energy. If passed, Michigan would be the ninth state to enact a 100% clean electricity standard. It would also be the first Midwestern state to enact an energy storage standard.

“If this legislation passes and makes the state a leader in energy storage development, it can also be a model for other states seeking to improve distribution grid reliability,” Laura Sherman wrote in an OpEd on pv magazine USA. Sherman is president of Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC). She added that, “Michigan has long been one of the worst-performing states for reliability, and recent severe power outages following an ice storm illustrate this vulnerability.”

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Michigan ranks 23rd with just over 1 GW installed, or enough to power 223,888 homes. SEIA projects that the state will install another 3.4 GW over the next five years to be ranked 16th.

The legislation also calls for Michigan Public Service Commission to consider equity in its Integrated Resource Plan.

Earlier this year, a report by Evergreen Action and the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council found that in addition to saving Michigan households an average of $145 a year in energy costs, these policies supported by additional measures would secure $7.8 billion more in federal investment from the Inflation Reduction Act and drive the creation of nearly 160,000 quality jobs. The report also found that 65% of voters supported legislation to transition the state’s energy grid to 100% clean energy.

 

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