Solar Power Projects Growing in Michigan

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Solar power projects in Michigan continue to increase, despite uncertainty over 30 percent federal tax credits and state energy policy.

During the second quarter this year, utilities, private companies, universities and other government subdivisions in Michigan installed 65 megawatts of solar energy, nearly doubling the total output in current inventory, according to a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Michigan installed the 11th highest amount of solar megawatts in the nation during the second quarter of 2017, trailing leaders California, Massachusetts and New York. In the second quarter of 2016, Michigan ranked 38th. Overall, Michigan has 102 megawatts of total solar installed, mostly from utility-scale projects. Solar accounts for less than 1 percent of total electricity production in the state.

Liesl Clark, president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, said solar price decreases and business interest in solar from such companies as Switch, Google, General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Kellogg Co. is helping drive the growth.

“Clean energy jobs are growing three times faster than other job sectors in Michigan,” said Clark, referring to a recent renewable energy report released earlier this month. More than 92,000 people now work in the clean energy industry in Michigan, which ranks third among 11 Midwest states in clean energy employment.

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