Renewable Energy Academy | Planning & Zoning for Solar Energy Systems: A Guide for Michigan Local Governments

The Michigan Association of Planning is working in partnership with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University to develop and launch a Renewable Energy Academy, a four-part collection that meets the educational needs of a range of decision makers, from appointed and elected officials to planning professionals and attorneys.  The collection consists of 4 components. 

Component 1:  The MSU Extension developed Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy Systems:  A Guide for Michigan Local Government.  This 2 hour workshop (1.5 hour when virtual) will be offered several times, both in person and via zoom.  Check MAP’s event calendar for dates, times, and places.  Read on for link to register.  There is no cost to attend this training.  

Component 2:  Renewable Energy Academy for Professionals The MAP led Renewable Academy for Professionals takes the Track I course to the next level, and is developed and instructed by planners and attorneys.  The course will provide details for planning and regulatory implementation.  Officials are also welcome.  Registration is $25.  Further details and registration links below.

Component 3:  Tours Solar and Wind Facility Tours are offered to anyone who participated in either track one or track two (Registration for component #1 or #2 is required to be eligible to register for the facility tour.)  In order to be more knowledgeable when writing plans, ordinances, and policies, professionals are strongly encouraged to attend.  These tours (one in Clare and one in Lansing) will provide participants with hands on (and eyes and ears) experience of wind and solar facilities.  Light lunch and refreshments included, cost is $35.  Lansing tour will be on June 23. The Clare tour will be June 28.  

Component 4:  Mini Workshop Sessions Following the tours, participants can register for short, live sessions via Zoom to work on plans, ordinances, and policies with Sarah Mills.  Topics will include rooftop solar, solar on agricultural land, wind site standards, and much more.  The intent of these short, specific sessions is to provide a clinic like experience where participants can Ask the Expert.  More details on specific topics and dates to follow.  The cost of these sessions is free for registrants of either the MSU Extension presentation for officials or the Renewable Energy Academy webinar for professionals.



Interested in registering for the MSU Extension’s Planning and Zoning for Solar Energy Systems? Follow link to register


Renewable Energy Academy Webinar for Professionals (component 2) | Tuesday, June 7 | 11:30 AM to 1 PM | $25 Registration Fee

Michigan’s diverse energy future is set in motion. Utility companies have bold plans to expand solar options and other forms of renewable energy over the next two decades and beyond. The shift in the utility sector from centralized power generation to a higher number of accessory and principal use solar energy systems (SES) means nearly every jurisdiction in Michigan will be approached about a solar installation within the next five years. However, relatively few of Michigan's 1,850 local government jurisdictions are prepared with policy or regulation. The purpose of this training is to prepare Michigan's municipal professionals for this reality.  

Join Sarah Mills, PhD and Catherine Kaufman, JD, AICP for this webinar developed specifically for municipal planners and attorneys.

Registrants will also receive access to the recorded MSU Extension presentation.  In order to best participate in the Renewable Energy Academy webinar, registrants should watch the MSU Extension presentation in advance of the June 7th webinar.  A total of 3 AICP CM Credits are available (1.5 for the MSU Extension recording and 1.5 for the June 7th webinar). 

Register Now