BetterBuildings for Michigan has been launched to create more than 2,000 jobs over the next 3 years and provide more affordable energy efficiency options for homes and businesses. The program is supported by a $30 million ARRA grant. BetterBuildings has two programs: $143 million residential program in targeted communities and $46.8 million commercial program in Detroit.
The residential program targets Detroit, SE Michigan suburbs, Grand Rapids and other communities to be determined. The program will “sweep,” or canvass up to 420 homes in targeted neighborhoods to market the program and share financing incentives. The program will offer energy efficiency improvements to more than 11,340 homes. The commercial program will concentrate on 3 centers along Woodward Corridor in Detroit. www.michigan.gov/energyoffice
City of Rochester has installed a solar roofing system on the city’s Fire Station #1. The city awarded the contract to New Energy Solutions, LLC of Milford for installation of a 9.2 kW integrated LUMA Resources PV roofing system.www.lumaresources.com
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Legislation HB 5640 has been signed into law by Governor Granholm. The new law gives local governments authority to issue revenue bonds to pay for energy improvements on commercial property. Property owners repay local government loans through special assessments added to their property tax bills. Andrew Brix, Ann Arbor’s energy programs manager, said the PACE program estimated energy savings must be greater than the cost of the special assessment and there will be an immediate cost savings for the property owner. Proponents of PACE still hope to extend the law’s scope to residential properties. The state Senate revised and limited the legislation to commercial properties in September, citing the fact that federal officials still are working to resolve larger issues surrounding PACE on a national level. Home Seminars & Tours Grants make possible suggestions and resources for residents on how to make homes more energy efficient. $15,000 grants have been awarded by Bureau of Energy Systems, DELEG, to four Michigan Energy Demonstration Centers: Clean Energy Coalition, Great Lakes Renewable Energy Assoc., Michigan Energy Options, and WARM Training Center. DELEG has recently designated two new energy demonstration centers – Clean Energy Coalition in Ypsilanti and the GVSU Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon.http://www.warmtraining.org/medc/
Bay City District Office of DNRE has completed installation of a 10 kW PV array which includes two rows of 22 panels sitting atop a seven-pylon structure. The solar array vendor was NOVA Consultants of Novi, and the contactor was Mid-Michigan Solar of Flint. The facility already has a 50 kW wind turbine. The improvements qualify the building to be upgraded to Platinum-certified LEED.
Utility Energy Optimization (EO) Programs report has been issued by the MPSC.. 2009 EO program savings exceeded their targets by 37% and customers will see savings of $404 million over the lifetime of the measures installed. Utilities expanded spending on EO programs from $89 million in 2009 to $137 million in 2010. The Commission is exploring potential improvements to EO programs through its ongoing EO Collaborative including creating a statewide buying consortium for efficient lighting, such, examining fuel switching, and trading EO credits. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mpsc/eo_legislature_report2010_339568_7.pdf
Shanna & Andy Draheim are building what will be the first LEED certified home in East Lansing. The house expected to be completed in April will receive a cash benefit through a Green Building Incentive Program recently approved by the East Lansing City Council. The policy provides $1300 for projects that are certified or silver and $2600 for homes that are gold or platinum.
Michigan Public Service Commission has approved power purchase agreements between Consumers Energy and Heritage Sustainable Energy for Garden Wind Farm (28.6 MW in Delta County) and Stoney Corners II (12.3 MW in Missaukee and Osceola counties). The agreement will result in the first large-scale production of utility-scale wind turbines fully made in Michigan by Northern Power Systems and key supplier Merrill Technologies Group. Northern Power Systems will build the direct drive wind turbines in its Saginaw plant, where it will employ up to 137 workers by 2014.
Jackson Community College installed a 10 kW Bergey on an 80-foot tower on the main campus in Summit Township. The cost of buying and installing the wind turbine is about $65,000 with about $53,000 covered by a federal grant and the remainder paid for by JCC. Lawrence-based Four Elements Energy installed the turbine. JCC has about 65 students in its sustainable energy program which offers an associate’s degree.www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2010/12/jackson_community_college_inst.html
Preliminary Michigan State research shows that employees working in buildings with LEED certification are less likely to suffer from asthma, allergies and stress. The employees also reported higher levels of productivity, and took fewer days off, according to the study, published by the American Journal of Public Health in August 2010.http://ejmagazine.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/fall-2010/
Peak Oil Webinar by David Gard, Michigan Environmental Council, can be viewed atwww.environmentalcouncil.org/priorities/hotTopicDetails.php?x=30
Low Interest Loans between $100,000 and $2.5 million are available to Michigan cities and villages to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Interest on approved loans is fixed at 3% for a maximum of 6 years. Projects must involve a commercially available and proven technology at buildings, facilities, and properties owned and operated by a city or village. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2011. Applications and loan specifications are available at: www.michiganadvantage.org/PSS.
Wyandotte Geothermal project is covered by Michigan Now at http://www.michigannow.org/2010/12/17/wyandotte-geothermal
Michigan Saves officially launched the Home Energy Loan Program on September 16, 2010. Since the launch, 72 loans have been approved, averaging $6,500 per loan, and 95 contractors are trained and authorized to offer the program to their customers. Four participating lenders currently serve 36 of the 83 counties. Michigan Saves plans to expand coverage to the entire state in early 2011. Contractor enrollment continues. www.michigansaves.org “Tips for Writing a Grant Application” was recently written by me and can be found at www.micheen.org. Go to blogs, page 2.
United Solar has installed a 130 kW PV system on the rooftop of the Moon Palace Hotel in Cancun, Mexico, host site for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. 20,000 participants from around the world gathered on Nov. 29 – Dec. 10 to discuss future commitments to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Kristianstad, Sweden uses virtually no oil, gas, or coal to heat its homes and businesses. The city has switched to biogas and has cut the region’s overall fossil fuel use by 50%. The city used to spend $7 million to heat municipal buildings, but that bill has been cut to $3.2 million.
Michigan Energy Fair will be held this year on June 24-26, at the Mason County Fair Grouds in Ludington. Save the date!
Source/Prepared by: John Sarver for Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA)