The Michigan Legislature has passed a bill exempting utility-scale wind, solar, and battery energy storage systems (BESS) from local zoning, and instead placing permitting responsibility in the hands of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).
While the bill has not yet been signed by Governor Whitmer, all indications are that she will approve it, so local communities need to understand the new limitations on their authority, andfind ways to ensure their voice is still heard under the new process. The key for local leaders at this point is not to panic. There are still ways to influence the siting of alternative energy facilities in your community – and McKenna is ready to help.
The bill exempts the following land uses from local zoning:
Solar Energy Facilities that produce 50-100 megawatts will be regulated by the State unless a local community opts-in to regulate those facilities under its zoning. If it does so, its Ordinance cannot be stricter than the State regulations.
Wind and solar energy facilities that generate less energy than the limits described in the bill are still subject to local zoning.
Some other key aspects of the bill:
That’s what we’re talking about at McKenna this week. Let us know what you’re talking about in your community. For more great ideas about community planning, design, and building services, visit mcka.com or call us at (248)596-0920. Like us on Facebook or connect with us on LinkedIn to learn more about how we’re elevating communities across the region.