Michigan local government officials’ views on expanding energy infrastructure in their jurisdictions

May 2024

This report presents the views of Michigan’s local government leaders on the amount of energy infrastructure currently hosted in their jurisdiction, as well as their support for or opposition to building new energy infrastructure locally. These findings are based on statewide surveys of local government leaders in 1,315 Michigan jurisdictions as part of the Fall 2023 Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS). 

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Key findings

Leaders from 10% of Michigan local governments say their community already hosts more than its fair share of energy infrastructure, while 36% say it has about its fair share, and 23% believe their jurisdiction hosts less than its fair share. Another 30% statewide are unsure whether or not they are hosting their fair share of energy infrastructure.

There are significant regional differences in these findings. For example, in the East Central Lower Peninsula, where many wind farms have been built, 15% of jurisdictions say they have more than their fair share of energy infrastructure, while 16% say they have less. In contrast, almost one-third (31%) of jurisdictions in the Upper Peninsula feel they host less than their fair share, while only 6% of say they host more.

When it comes to local development of new types of energy infrastructure, Michigan local leaders overwhelmingly support adding rooftop solar (86%). A majority (60%) also supports new electric transmission lines. More than 40% still support new natural gas power plants (42%) and large-scale solar installations (42%) in their communities.

Support is significantly lower for new large-scale wind (27%), nuclear power (25%), and large-scale battery storage (25%) infrastructure. In particular, a majority of state officials (51%) strongly oppose the development of nuclear power in their communities.