Dexter Township wants to talk with the community about recent legislation impacting solar, wind, and battery storage facilities.

In the May edition of Dexter Township’s Monthly Email Update, “In The Loop,” the township says there’s an “important conversation in our township!”

“The State of Michigan passed a law, Public Act 233 of 2023, which mandates municipalities to allow utility-scale solar, wind, and battery storage facilities and limits local control of these renewable energy operations. Dexter Township can retain some approval power over these facilities, if the Zoning Ordinance is amended in compliance with Public Act 233. Join Trustee Laura Sanders, Trustee Gretchen Driskell, Marty Straub and Mark Teicher for discussions. Now is the time for input – Please join us for this timely conversation!”

Another local source looking at this is the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan. It describes the legislation this way, “Significant changes to the permitting process for large-scale wind, solar, and energy storage projects were enacted in HB 5120 (now Public Act 233 of 2023) in the fall of 2023. The new law, which goes into effect in November 2024, grants permitting authority to the Michigan Public Service Commission unless local governments adopt “Compatible Renewable Energy Ordinances.” The Center for EmPowering Communities is developing resources to help communities prepare for the new law and assess how it impacts their planning and zoning for renewable energy.”

Of the legislation, the Michigan Public Service Commission’s webpage says:
“Does PA 233 take away control from local landowners?”
“No. Participating or not participating in a renewable energy or energy storage project is a decision for individual landowners. Commission approval of a siting certificate under PA 233 does not confer the power of eminent domain or require landowners to participate against their wishes.”

The siting process created in PA 233 applies to:
• Solar facilities with a nameplate capacity of 50 MW or more,
• Wind facilities with a nameplate capacity of 100 MW or more, and
• Energy storage facilities with a nameplate capacity of 50 MW or more with a discharge capability of 200 MWh or more.

PA 233 is effective on Nov. 29, 2024.

The Dexter Township community conversation is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 17, at township hall, 6880 Dexter-Pinckney Road.

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