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Turning Sunshine Into Energy: How Large-Scale Solar Benefits Michigan

Solar power already is a critical part of Michigan’s energy mix. Its role in supplying reliable, increasingly affordable energy for Michigan homes and businesses will grow in the future.

As we make the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future, there’s no doubt solar power will be a critical piece of the energy puzzle. We need the right policies in place and the right approach to ensure everyone can benefit from this renewable energy resource.

Michigan’s Large-Scale Solar

Michigan may not get the same amount of sunlight as other states, but the sheer size and scope of large-scale solar projects—sometimes called “utility-scale” or “community-based” solar—enable us to more effectively harness the power of the sun. Even as winter approaches, these large-scale solar projects are helping communities across Michigan.

Think of DTE Energy’s Lapeer solar park, which officially opened last month. It’s one of the largest utility-owned solar projects east of the Mississippi and the biggest in Michigan, producing enough energy to power 11,000 homes. Or take Consumers Energy’s Solar Gardens program, launched last fall. Partnering with Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University, the projects feature over 15,000 solar panels that allow consumers enrolled in the program to power their homes with solar energy.

Making Solar Work for Michigan

Large-scale solar projects like DTE Energy’s Lapeer solar park and Consumers Energy’s Solar Gardens offer immense benefits for consumers and the environment:

Smart Energy Policy to Promote Large-Scale Solar

Smart energy policies out of Lansing—like last year’s landmark energy legislation—will foster a positive environment, encouraging the development of even more large-scale solar projects. Such policies will be critical in securing a cleaner energy future for all Michiganders.