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New study says expanding community solar could generate over $1B for state economy

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Oregon Department Of Transportation/Flickr Creative Commons
An MSU study finds expanded community solar power could generate more than $1 billion for the Michigan economy over 30 years.

A Michigan State University study finds expanding community solar projects could generate more than $1 billion for the state economy over the next three decades.

The MSU Product Center and Center for Economic Analysis report concludes that adding 900 megawatts of community solar capacity over five years could produce enough energy for 171,000 homes.

Community solar projects afford customers credits on their utility bills for their share of the total generated power, without having to install their own rooftop panels.

MSU Center for Economic Analysis director Steven Miller says the report reflects a growing awareness of the need to phase out of fossil fuels.

“Solar is part of the mix of all the renewable options that are out there, and I hope this report helps inform what that solar contribution can be, at least from a community solar perspective,” Miller said.

The study also indicates that about 18,500 installation and maintenance jobs could be created over 30 years.

Solar energy advocates are supporting legislation in the Michigan House that would facilitate community solar expansion.