PACE Property Assed Clean Energy (PACE) Renewable Energy Program Plan and Pilot Project

Research Team: 
Start Date: 
Jan 1, 2016
End Date: 
Apr 10, 2017

The State of Michigan passed Act 270 in 2010 allowing local units of government to establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. On November 17, the Leelanau County commission voted to establish a PACE program for the entire county by joining Lean & Green Michigan, a statewide shared-services program made up of 18 counties and 6 cities and administered by Levin Energy Partners. This program facilitates commercial property owner’s application of energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy production which significantly lowers their energy costs by obtaining reasonably priced, long-term financing through a special a special assessment on their property taxes.  A University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) Master’s Project Team would implement some of the Action Plan for 100% Renewable Energy in Leelanau Township and the Village of Northport by implementing the PACE program in the area and identifying other financing resources available for local businesses.  The team would develop a survey of eligible businesses to gather data on interest in the PACE program, eligibility of each property, and identify issues that may limit the ability of a commercial property owner to take advantage of PACE.  A transparent, public engagement methodology with businesses and nonprofits will be designed and implemented, identifying eligibility and fit.  The team would also identify challenges to using the PACE program and develop solutions to these challenges, such as identifying alternative sources of finance and navigating additional local government processes and incentive programs.  Several Leelanau County firms have expressed interest in PACE participation.  A pilot project would match the graduate students with Northport Energy and Levin Energy Partners, giving them real world experience.  The project will create a methodology/plan for rural Michigan areas to implement the PACE program.