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Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies

Legislative updates for December 2023

Image credit: Courtesy Photo
Date Posted: December 7, 2023

This update includes recently introduced bills and those moving through the legislative process. Michigan Farm Bureau’s positions are rooted in the organization’s member-developed policy. 

State Issues

Energy Siting

House Bills 5120-5121 restricts local control on large scale commercial wind, solar and battery storage projects and allow a pathway to be permitted by Michigan Public Service Commission. 

Under the law developers apply to the local unit of government for permitting only if the local government has a "compatible renewable ordinance," or CREO. To qualify the ordinance cannot be stricter than the state requirements outlined in the law, including setback targets. Local units could only reject the project if the application was incomplete or does not fit the criteria outlined in law. If the local unit rejects or doesn’t act on the application within the allotted timeframe, the developer would go to the MPCS for certification and permitting which would preempt local ordinance.

Farm Bureau opposed the legislation signed into law on Nov. 28. More than 2,100 members and supporters who sent more than 4,200 messages to representatives and senators in opposition to the bills. View the response by Farm Bureau district and county. Read the Michigan Farm News update: Energy bills greenlit by Gov. Whitmer

Contact: Andrew Vermeesch

Renewable Energy

Senate Bills 271, 273, and 502 require electric providers regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission to achieve a renewable energy credit portfolio of at least 60% by 2035, and an electric provider to achieve a clean energy portfolio of 100% by 2040 and beyond. 

The legislation also categorizes digesters and biomass systems as renewable energy resources. Only biomass systems operational by the effective date are eligible; there are no restrictions on digesters.

Further, the bills require the MPSC to determine whether an integrated resources plan would make adequate progress toward the elimination of adverse effects on human health due to generation or if the plan would adequately reduce harm to the health, safety, and welfare of environmental justice communities. 

Farm Bureau opposed the legislation that was signed into law on Nov. 28. Read the Michigan Farm News update: Energy bills greenlit by Gov. Whitmer.

Contact: Andrew Vermeesch

PA 116 and Solar Operations

Senate Bill 277, sponsored by Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City), enacts the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development plan allowing farmers to rent their land for solar operations while keeping that land in the farmland preservation program under Public Act 116. Farm Bureau was neutral on the legislation that was signed into law on Nov. 28. 

Contact: Andrew Vermeesch

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Rob Anderson

Manager, Government Relations
517-679-5343 [email protected]