Michigan’s community solar project demonstrates potential for broader impact

A community solar project in Michigan's Upper Peninsula shows how renewable energy initiatives can achieve both economic and social goals.

Dan Gearino reports for Inside Climate News.


In short:

  • The L'Anse solar array, with 340 panels, powers around 50 households or organizations.
  • A $140,000 state grant subsidized 25 low-to-moderate income households, reducing their electricity bills and financial stress.
  • The project, despite limited state support and low sunlight, succeeded due to community involvement and diverse funding.

Key quote:

“In its ideal form, community solar can be a mechanism for advancing energy justice.”

— Karl Hoesch, University of Michigan doctoral student

Why this matters:

Community solar projects like the one in L'Anse can serve as models for small towns, promoting energy justice and financial benefits. With increased funding from initiatives like the Inflation Reduction Act, more communities could replicate this success.

Did you know? Swapping out coal energy for solar would prevent 52,000 premature deaths in the United States every year.

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