Community Solar Utility Projects Bring Clean Energy Economic Benefits / Public Information Service

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DETROIT – Michigan Utilities are educating consumers on how consumers can get involved in cleaning the energy grid, including participating in community solar projects.

The projects involve multiple customers subscribing to solar power generation and then getting credits for the power produced on their monthly bills.

Sarah Nielsen, executive director of transportation, renewable energy and storage for Consumers Energy, the state’s largest utility, said it allows people to support renewables without the upfront costs of, for example, l installation of solar panels on their homes.

She stressed that this is a more equitable way of navigating the transition to clean energy.

“And by the way, we always support unionized jobs for local workers at our solar installations,” Nielsen said. “Any approach to tackling climate change must ensure that the transition to this sustainable economy is fair and that workers are not left behind. “

Nielsen added to Consumers Energy, as part of its plan to invest in 8,000 megawatts of solar power over the next two decades, it has a Solar gardens program, where customers pay a small fee to subscribe to a desired amount of solar garden “blocks” and receive credit for the energy generated by those blocks.

Knox Cameron, head of renewable energy solutions for DTE Energy, which serves the Detroit area, noted that they also have the subscription by subscription. MI Renewable Energy Program (pronounced “my”).

He said they are partnering with community organizations and working to make it accessible to low-income communities. He noted that people can sign up for as little as $ 1 per month.

“We believe that no one should be prevented from investing in our state’s growing renewable energy market,” Cameron said.

A new study Michigan State University pointed out that expanding community solar projects could add $ 1.5 billion to the state’s economy over 30 years, not to mention the benefits of moving away from fossil fuels. for climate change mitigation.

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