DETROIT, Nov. 28, 2023 — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed two packages of bills today to make Michigan a national leader in clean energy standards and drive investment into new renewable energy projects. The legislation creates bold standards for decarbonizing the state’s energy grid and expands pathways to create the large-scale wind, solar and energy storage projects that will make them a reality.
“Our Clean Energy Future and Clean Energy and Jobs Act will vault Michigan to the top of the nation when it comes to protecting our planet, making energy more affordable, and creating great-paying union jobs,” said House Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck), a sponsor of one of today’s signed bills. “I have fought for environmental justice — in my own community and communities across the state — since before I arrived in Lansing. With the signing of these bills today, we are taking a massive step forward in achieving that justice and making the vision of a cleaner, greener, more sustainable Michigan a reality.”
The Clean Energy Future package lays out the path for Michigan to decarbonize its electric grid. The legislation requires that utilities generate 60% of their electricity from renewable sources and 80% from carbon-free sources by 2035. The clean energy standard rises to 100% in 2040. The bills also increase energy efficiency standards and specifically direct programs to low-income and other underserved communities.
“The legislation signed today addresses multiple pressing issues: protecting our environment, lowering energy bills for families, creating about 160,000 jobs and bringing more clean energy to Michigan,” said state Rep. Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City), who sponsored similar legislation. “Particularly when it comes to energy efficiency, not only is the cheapest energy the energy we don’t use in the first place, but this legislation requires that utilities pass those savings onto consumers in the form of lower rates. This is a win-win for families and communities across the state.”
Whitmer also signed the Clean Energy and Jobs Act today. The bills will allow for more large-scale renewable energy projects necessary to meet the new clean energy standards. Developers that wish to build new projects have to inform the host community and, if the local government wants to be involved in the process, seek permitting there before any possible state involvement. The bills also require agreements to benefit the host community and that construction jobs pay the prevailing wage.
“The standards set forth in the Clean Energy Future package position Michigan as national leader on clean energy,” said state Rep. Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton), sponsor of one of the bills being signed today. “Bringing more renewable energy projects to Michigan will create thousands of high-paying jobs with family-sustaining wages, reduce electric bills for customers and move us toward energy independence, all while partnering with local officials and empowering landowners. I’m proud of the work we’ve done, and I look forward to a brighter, cleaner Michigan in the future.”