In Michigan, solar energy developers are actively contacting farmers and landowners to secure land for solar energy projects. In an effort to help farmers and landowners understand the renewable energy landscape, nuances of solar leases, zoning considerations, and accompanying tax implications, MSU Extension, Michigan Farm Bureau and the Michigan Energy Office are teaming up to host programs for farmers at various locations statewide. MSU Extension staff with lease agreement, tax, and zoning expertise will provide the educational content. Farmers who participate in the programs will leave with valuable, practical knowledge they can use to determine if a solar lease agreement is a sound decision for themselves and their community.

The programs will cover:
  • Context for solar energy development on Michigan farmland
  • Community vision for solar energy systems
  • Zoning approaches for solar energy
  • Siting considerations for utility-scale solar
  • Integrating solar with existing ag systems
  • Understanding solar energy lease agreements
  • Taxation guidance including impact on PA 116

Programs sponsored by Michigan Farm Bureau and the Michigan Energy Office

Where: There are several program locations/dates statewide:

March 14 - West Branch
Forward Conference Center
2980 Cook Rd. 
West Branch, MI 48861

March 19 - Ottawa County
Ottawa County Fillmore Government Complex
Main Conference Room
12220 Fillmore Street
West Olive, MI 49460

March 28 - St. Johns
AgroLiquid Conference Center
3055 W. M-21
St. Johns, MI 48879

April 10 - Chatham
Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center
E3774 University Dr.
Chatham, MI 49816
 

When: All programs run 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Doors for all locations open at 9:30 a.m.)

Cost: $20 per person. Program cost includes handouts and lunch.

Preregistration is required. Registration will not be available onsite. Registration will remain open up to two days before a meeting is scheduled.

Instructors: All instructors are MSU educators or specialists.

Download Event Flyer

General Registration

Registration for Shining a Light on Agricultural Solar Energy Development is open.
Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 9, 2019.

Accommodations

Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For more information, contact Charles Gould of MSU Extension at 616-994-4547 or gouldm@msu.edu.