Graham Sustainability Institute

Implementing Community Solar in Chelsea, Michigan

March 2021

Moving full speed ahead towards a goal of net-zero electricity emissions by 2035, the City of Chelsea is now evaluating a community solar model of municipal electricity generation for low income residents. This 2020 Dow Fellows team evaluated the feasibility of bringing community solar power to Chelsea from a true interdisciplinary perspective that included a financial, environmental, regulatory, and stakeholder analysis. Community distributed solar power could be a win-win for the state by providing affordable electricity to households in need and greening the city’s energy infrastructure. In addition, federal tax credits for clean energy development projects create opportunities for mutually beneficial public-private partnerships between the City of Chelsea and green developers.