LANSING, Mich., April 27, 2023 — A pair of bipartisan community solar bills, House Bills 4464 and 4465, were introduced this week by State Reps. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) and John Roth (R-Grand Traverse County), respectively. Community solar bills are designed to promote equitable access to renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and spur economic development in local communities. Hood’s bill provides an expedited pathway for communities to increase solar energy sources, opening more opportunities for clean and renewable energy in Michigan. 


“The community solar program is a tool that will advance energy reliability and climate solutions for Michigan,” Hood said. “HB 4464 will allow us to maximize one-time federal investments to accelerate our state’s clean energy goals. Community solar arrays are mid-sized and can fit into a variety of communities without disrupting agricultural production or community aesthetics.” 


The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy describes community solar as a solar energy system that generates renewable energy and is shared by multiple subscribers in a community. Subscribers receive credits on their electric bills for their portion of the energy generated by their allotted panels.


“Community solar can be installed at your temple or church, your school, over a parking lot, and/or in your local industrial park,” Hood continued. “These will enhance grid reliability and resiliency by providing additional energy during peak demand and resilient energy supply during extreme weather events. This is an affordable, accessible tool to connect average, everyday ratepayers to the clean energy resources they want now. It’s a solution used by many states across the U.S.” 


“Without community solar, Michigan risks losing the race to attract and retain quality green jobs. It’s time to advance community solar for our energy regulators, utilities, investors and ratepayers and most importantly, our kids. When we fail to advance energy solutions like community solar, we fail to protect the future for the next generation. There are no excuses for delay.”