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MSUE, Michigan Farm Bureau to Hold Educational Meetings for State’s Farmers on Solar Landscape

Tuesday, February 13, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Throughout March, the Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) and Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) intend to hold seven separate meetings throughout the state to educate farmers on solar lease agreements.

At the heart of the matter is that solar companies are currently, actively contacting farm owners to secure land for solar energy projects in Michigan. This is in the face of a new tariff on imported solar modules implemented at the federal level. To the contrary, the Michigan Public Service Commission raised the avoided cost of electricity to 9.5 cents per kWh, meaning that although federal actions have likely increased the cost of solar projects by anywhere between 10 to 15 cents per dc watt, solar projects remain profitable.

“From a MFB policy perspective, our policy supports the concept of all forms of renewable energy, including solar,” Matt Kapp, MFB Government Relations Specialist, said. “With agriculture being a user of energy, we believe our energy portfolio needs to be diverse. However, whether or not a solar energy development is right for an individual farming operation, that’s up to each farmer.”

At the heart of discussions will thus be local government zoning provisions and the tax implications of solar project lease agreements. MSUE staff will handle information on lease agreements, tax, and zoning, including integrating solar with existing agriculture systems and siting considerations as well.

The meetings do come with a $20 per person cost associated with them, and pre-registration must be completed by Sunday, March 4.


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