Research Buoy for the Lake Michigan offshore wind assessment study was dedicated by Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center on Oct. 7. The buoy will support state-of-the-art research by GVSU, UM and MSU for the next 10 years.
The research buoy, one of three in the world, is an eight-ton, 20-by-10 foot boat-shaped structure that can measure wind characteristics up to 150 meters above the water using advanced laser pulse technology. Following a week of tests on Muskegon Lake, the buoy will move 4 miles offshore on Lake Michigan for a month-long trial. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/10/03/grand-valley-readies-for-wind-assessment-in-lake-michigan/
Consumers Energy selected three non-residential PV projects for phase 3 of its Experimental Advanced Renewable Program on Oct. 10. Consumers had 31 applications for this phase and used a random selection process to select the three projects. Phase 4 which will be for residential projects will begin on Dec. 1 with a deadline of Jan. 12.
RETAP (Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Program), a free and confidential service, is looking for ~75 organizations to receive energy assessments that will help them reduce their facility energy costs. Businesses with 500 or fewer full-time employees, institutions, schools, universities, and nonprofits are eligible, but must own their facility, have annual utility expenses of $15,000 or more, and floor space of 20,000 square feet or more. If interested, contact: David Herb, Michigan DEQ at 517-241-8176 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PA 295 that authorizes the Renewable Portfolio Standard and utility Energy Optimization programs is being reviewed by the Michigan state legislature. The Senate Energy and Technology Committee heard testimony on the RPS on Oct. 4 and 11. Testimony on the EO programs was heard on Oct. 18 and 25. http://www.senate.michigan.gov/committees/Default.aspx?commid=53
Ann Arbor’s Clean Energy Coalition (CEC) has received a $500,000 grant from DOE’s Clean Cities program for an electric vehicle planning initiative. Over the next year, the CEC will work with NextEnergy, Michigan Plug-In Electric Vehicle Taskforce, Greater Lansing Area Cities Coalition, automakers and nine of Michigan’s largest cities to develop a planning guide to support electric vehicle usage in Michigan.
Dow Chemical has announced it is bringing its Dow Powerhouse solar shingle to market this month, starting in Colorado and rolling into targeted states through 2012. The new roofing product combines a conventional asphalt roof with an integrated PV system. www.dowsolar.com.
Wind Farm Summary has been prepared by MPSC Staff and includes operating wind farms, planned wind farms under contract with MPSC rate-regulated utilities and wind farms under development by a MPSC rate-regulated electric utility. The summary identifies 1127.7 MW of wind power in Michigan.
Community Solar program is being developed by Traverse City Light & Power. The municipal utility’s customers will be able to buy or lease a portion of a community system and get credit on their utility bills for their part of the electricity produced by the group PV system.
Corner Brewery in Ann Arbor will have 144 solar panels on its roof. The panels, a hybrid type that generates both electricity and hot water, are manufactured by Detroit-based Power Panel. The brewery will get 100% of the heat needed for brewing from the sun. The panels are expected to save about $6,800 in energy costs annually. A good portion of the $150,000 project cost will be offset with incentives from DTE and a 30% federal tax grant. The brewery is looking at an 11 to 12-year payback and hopes to cut energy bills by 30-50%. A separate, but similar project will install 20 solar panels at the Arbor Brewing Company in downtown Ann Arbor. http://www.concentratemedia.com/devnews/cornerbrewery0166.aspx?utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=Ypsilanti’s+Corner+Brewery+to+heat+all+brewing+water+from+solar+power&utm_content=%7bEmail_Address%7d&utm_campaign=Our+Tiny+Big+Stories
Michigan jumped from 27th to 17th in state rankings by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Michigan improved its energy efficiency ranking more than any other state in the past year. A 2008 law requires utilities to offer energy-saving programs and these programs cost 3 cents per kWh, while building and fueling a new power plant costs 9 cents per kWh according to Marty Kushler, ACEEE. http://www.freep.com/article/20111021/NEWS05/110210357/1001/news
Consumers Energy’s Green Generation program is inviting Michigan high schools in its electric or combination service territory to participate in a video contest showing their school’s commitment to renewable energy. The grand prize entry will receive $5,000 for their school, with smaller prizes for first, second and third place. Videos can be submitted now through Nov. 15. www.greenscenescontest.com
Muskegon County’s wastewater facility could be the site of a 100 MW wind farm developed by Gamesa Energy and Scandia Wind Offshore. The draft lease shows the county would be paid $5 an acre per year for the 11,000 acres and a payment of about $165,000 would be due on the third anniversary of the lease. During the proposed 25 year operations lease , the county would be entitled to 5.5% of the gross revenues in the first 10 years and 6.5% after that.
University of Michigan’s Quantum was the first American car to finish the World Solar Challenge. The Solar Car team placed third overall. After driving for 35 hours and 33 minutes over five days, the M team crossed the end-of-timing line in Angle Vale, South Australia. With an average speed of 56 mph, Japan’s Tokai University finished first. UM’s Quantum averaged 52 mph. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/10/20/michigan-solar-car-team-places-third-in-the-world/
Request for Proposals has been issued for two Michigan Department of Transportation Welcome Centers PV installations. Proposals are due November 19, 2011 by 4:00 pm. Grid connected PV systems will be installed at the New Buffalo and Clare Welcome Centers.
Ontario Voters have re-elected Liberal Party Premier Dalton McGuinty in the Oct. 6 election, meaning that incentives for wind energy, including the Green Energy Act and its feed-in tariff, are safe for now. Wind energy had become a bitter wedge issue for the challenging Progressive Conservative Party which vowed to end Ontario’s green energy initiatives. http://www.nawindpower.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.8707
Japan has enacted a “feed-in-tariff” program. An existing “total electricity purchasing” program has provided “feed-in-tariffs” for PV, but the new law applies to all renewables. The new program will start on July 1, 2012.
Market for Small Wind Turbines in 2010 grew by 26% in the U.S. Global small-wind capacity is expected to reach 152 MW annually by 2015, powered by a threefold increase in new projects, according to a report from Pike Research. The increased demand will bring average total cost per watt from $5.40 today to about $4.10 in 2015, the report said. This global expansion is expected to benefit U.S. manufacturers, which supply two out of every three small wind installations worldwide.
OpenStudio, a free software kit and suite of advanced energy modeling tools has been created by DOE to help engineers, architects, and designers explore the most efficient improvements available for commercial buildings. One of the key components of this system is its ability to tap into DOE’s advanced whole-building energy modeling program, EnergyPlus. Designers can draw the building in detail using site photos and other inputs to get an accurate representation of the building. OpenStudio then converts the information into data that EnergyPlus uses to help designers understand the impact their design choices are having on cost, energy efficiency, and code compliance. http://energy.gov/articles/openstudio-building-design-expertise-your-fingertips
Berkeley Lab has a new report: “Mass Market Demand Response and Variable Generation Integration Issues: A Scoping Study.” This scoping study focuses on what role the smart grid could play over the next 5-10 years to help integrate a greater penetration of variable generation resources by providing electric customers with demand response options. http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/ems/sg-pubs.html
China now claims three-fifths of the world’s solar panel production capacity. Chinese solar panel manufacturers such as JA Solar, now the world’s largest, say American companies bet on new technologies instead of focusing on making panels cheaper to produce. Some industry experts disagree saying breakthrough technology will be needed to drive the solar industry forward. In the past half-decade, venture capitalists have pumped more than $7 billion into dozens of solar startups developing cutting-edge technology. http://www.renewablesbiz.com/article/11/10/solar-battle-pits-chinese-efficiency-against-us-innovation&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=RB_DAILY2&utm_term=Original-Member
MPSC Consumer Forums will be held in Hamtramck (11/2), Grand Haven (11/3), and Ypsilanti (11/8).
USGBC 10th Annual Southwest Michigan CE Marathon will be held on Friday, November 4, 2011, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at M-TEC Facility, Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Business professionals have been invited to present programs that meet either the AIA or the USGBC Credential Maintenance Program requirements. 16 different presentations are planned. www.usgbcwm.org/calendar
USGBC Workshop: Homes 252 Understanding the LEED for Homes Rating System will be held on Nov. 7th, 8:30 am – 5 PM in Detroit.
East Michigan Chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers will meet at Lawrence Tech on Nov. 8, 6 pm. Michael Kaplan of Invenergy LLC will be presenting an overview of the wind farm development process and talking about the 213 MW Gratiot County Wind Project. www.emaee.org
Michigan Wind Working Group will meet on November 10. A wind farm tour in the morning will start at 10 am in Breckenridge. Register for the tour no later than Nov. 7. The afternoon meeting, 1:00-4:00 pm, will be in Ithaca and cover the Gratiot County wind farm, MPSC update, best practices for wind development, and wind data collection and analysis at tall towers. http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,4639,7-159-16393_55246-136909–,00.html
Michigan Solid-State Lighting Association will hold its 2011 MSSLA Annual Symposium on Nov. 10 from 1-5 pm at OU INC in Rochester.http://www.mssla.org/
International Conference on Sustainability, Transition, and Culture Change will be held at Shanty Creek Resorts, Bellaire on Nov 10-14.
GLREA’s 2011 Annual Meeting will take place on Saturday, December 3rd, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Arbor Brewing Company, 114 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor. You can join GLREA at the meeting. www.glrea.org
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Source/Prepared by: John Sarver for Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA)