Harvest Solar can help navigate push for on-farm renewable energy

Harvest Solar pic

Recently, the Whitmer Administration pushed through a series of renewable energy bills that will change the landscape of solar electricity in Michigan. The most press was given to HB5120 the “Siting” bill that laid out zoning requirements for large renewable energy projects greater than 100MW or about 500 acres in the case of solar. By outlining zoning requirements at the state level, it takes the control of approving solar field locations out of control of local governments. 

SB271 was signed at the same time, this bill sets new renewable energy standards for Michigan utilities and along with HB5120 will mandate and allow about 300,000 acres of Michigan land be put into solar in the next 12 years. This bill also updated Michigan’s Distributed Generation program that will help Michigan farmers and gives a way to preserve part of the state’s farmland. 

Except for some electrical cooperatives, Michigan utilities must get 10% of their renewable electricity from their customers. The location of these solar installations is up to the owner. Locating them on roof tops, green spaces, and marginal ground will in essence preserve around 30,000 acres of Michigan farmland. 

There are size limitations, but the Distributed Generation program allows privately owned solar generators with the capacity to produce 110% of the annual usage of a meter. Utilities must also buy excess electricity from certain sized generators and SB271 almost quadrupled the earlier eligible size, which can have a significant impact on the payback of the system.

Harvest Solar is a turnkey solar installer for farms in Michigan. Our focus is small privately owned solar for producers across the state, helping preserve land for agriculture. Our consultants will help you navigate the regulations, incentives, and economic factors so you can make a wise decision about solar on your farm.

{Sponsored Content.}