EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan State University study has concluded that community solar expansion in Michigan would contribute nearly $1.5 billion to the state’s economy over 30 years.

Researchers say the installation and ongoing maintenance of community solar projects would create 18,500 well-paying jobs, according to the East Lansing school.

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The study examined the impact an expansion of 900 megawatts of community solar over five years would have in Michigan.

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Community solar refers to a solar array located within a community where multiple customers can subscribe and receive credits on their utility bills for their share of the power that is produced, just as if the panels were on their own roofs.

The study was conducted this fall by Michigan State’s Product Center/Center for Economic Analysis.

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