Michigan EIBC applauds new policy on use of solar energy on farmland

Michigan EIBC applauds new policy on use of solar energy on farmland

LANSING – The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC) is pleased with the decision released today by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to allow solar energy deployment on farmland held under the Farmland Preservation Program.

“MDARD’s decision is a win for farmers, clean energy and the state of Michigan,” Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman said. “Thanks to MDARD’s policy, farmers will have access to a new revenue stream, while continuing to preserve their farmland for future agricultural use.”

Michigan EIBC has been participating in a stakeholder process organized by the Governor’s Office and MDARD on behalf of member companies. Today’s memorandum is the result of the hard work of all parties who came together throughout that stakeholder process.

“Michigan EIBC applauds Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Director Gary McDowell and their staff for taking an evenhanded approach that removes barriers to solar energy generation and allows rural landowners who are interested in solar to take part in its benefits, all while preserving Michigan’s farmland,” Sherman continued.

The new policy acknowledges the benefits to promoting soil and pollinator health that can be achieved by siting solar arrays on farmland, enables interested farmers to benefit economically, and maintains the purpose of Michigan’s Farmland Preservation Program by making sure that our state’s valuable agricultural land remains agricultural in character.