Renewable energy is on the rise and wind and solar development are possible across most of Michigan—especially near transmission lines. If your community hasn’t already been approached by energy developers, it likely will be approached within the next few years.
Is this a threat or an opportunity for your jurisdiction? That depends on whether you’re prepared with existing, up-to-date zoning ordinances for wind and solar development. If not, now is the time to determine whether and how these energy systems fit within your community’s land use goals, which will help landowners understand what is possible on their property.
We're here to help! With support from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), we offer a suite of resources to aid in the process of planning and zoning for renewables.
Menu of Services
- Introduction to Planning and Zoning for Renewables: Offered to elected and appointed officials, this foundational course requires no prior knowledge of renewable energy. You’ll learn how to understand local impacts—both positive and negative—and ensure any energy development aligns with community goals.
- Nuts-and-Bolts Workshops: This mini-workshop series addresses zoning for principal-use solar, wind siting, and accessory-use wind and solar. Each session is an interactive Q&A designed to address participants' specific needs. Prior participation in at least one introductory training is required. See sidebar for details of upcoming sessions.
- Renewable Energy Site Tours: Each of these full-day bus excursions tours at least one large-scale wind and one large-scale solar facility. Prior participation in at least one introductory training is required. See sidebar for upcoming dates and locations.
- Individual Assistance: We offer individualized presentations and workshops on planning and zoning for renewable energy for township and county officials without cost. We also offer no-charge review of zoning ordinances. See contact information below to make arrangements for your community.
In addition, the online tools available to local governments for planning and zoning for renewable energy are a rich resource. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) lists many of these tools on its website: michigan.gov/energy.