Act 233

Local Government Responses to Act 233 of 2023

By Andrew Moore, AICP

In late 2023, Governor Whitmer signed a package of bills targeting clean energy into law. Among them was Act 233 of 2023, which upon becoming effective on November 29, 2024, will largely preempt local control over wind, solar, and energy storage facilities throughout the state. Act 233 will have significant impacts on local units of government as utility-scale wind, solar, or energy storage companies will be able to bypass the local approval process.

Specifically, Act 233 provides for preemption of zoning and other ordinances for the following renewable energy facilities that generate or store power for off-site use:

  • Solar energy facilities with a capacity of 50 megawatts or more;
  • Wind energy facilities with a capacity of 100 megawatts or more; and
  • Energy storage facilities with a capacity of 50 megawatts or more and an energy discharge capability of 200 megawatt hours or more.

Over the last several years, many communities have undertaken lengthy and sometimes contentious efforts to draft zoning and other provisions related to the siting of wind and solar facilities. Now, many of these communities are left wondering what to do in light of this new legislation.

Read More »

Prestressed Concrete 101

Prestressed Concrete 101

By Jordan Pelphrey, PE

Prestressed concrete is a high-strength, engineered building material used extensively in the construction industry. It has a multitude of applications, including in bridges, commercial buildings, dams, roads, stadiums, hospitals, parking garages, multistory residential buildings and in a number of other structures. The applications for this construction material are nearly limitless. It’s a great way to minimize cracking and take advantage of the incredible strength of reinforced concrete.

So, what exactly is prestressed concrete?

Read More »

Artesian Wells

Why is it called an Artesian Well? What does this mean?

By Dan Whalen, PE

The word ‘artesian’ comes from the town of Artois in France, the old Roman city of Artesium, where well known flowing artesian wells were drilled by Carthusian monks in the 12th century.

The definition of artesian (Merriam-Webster) is:

artesian, adjective
ar·​te·​sian | \ (ˈ)är-¦tē-zhən\
Definition of artesian: involving, relating to, or supplied by the upward movement of water under hydrostatic pressure in rocks or unconsolidated material beneath the earth's surface.

But this definition is a little misleading.

The word artesian may bring to mind a well with water spewing out over the top and flowing all over. But only some water wells naturally flow by themselves, and some artesian wells don’t flow at all. Here’s why.

Read More »