Michigan ranks among the top Midwestern states for clean energy jobs, but environmental advocates say further policy changes are needed to push the state from “good” to “great.”

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed bills into law Thursday night ensuring small-scale residential and commercial solar projects won’t increase owners’ property taxes.

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer supports a package of bills recently approved by the state Legislature that clarifies tax exemptions for small-scale solar energy projects.

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Clean energy advocates praised a Thursday announcement by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer highlighting the need to modernize the state’s power grid as it shifts from coal-fired power. 

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The polar vortex early this year strained Michigan’s energy supply as the state experiences an “unprecedented shift” in the way it produces power and relies more heavily on natural gas and renewables, according to state regulators.

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A settlement agreement approved in September between Consumers Energy and multiple solar energy developers triggers a large-scale buildout across the Lower Peninsula, but also marks a shift in the way the utility will contract for solar power in the future.

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HOLLAND — A financing program in Holland that helps residents pay for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades remains one of the only such programs in Michigan, and could be a model for more to come. 

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Consumers Energy announced plans Thursday to purchase a majority of the output from a large-scale solar project in Calhoun County, among the first deals under the utility’s shift to renewable energy.

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GRAND RAPIDS — City officials are reviving plans for a solar project at a former Grand Rapids landfill as the city sorts through broader questions about potential generation at seven other city-owned properties.

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HOLLAND — A lakeshore company has received $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to advance the development of utility-scale energy storage.

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