GLREA celebrated 20 years of efforts to increase renewable energy use in Michigan at the Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony held on Dec. 3 at the Arbor Brewing Company of Ann Arbor. State Rep. Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor updated the membership on key legislative issues.
Brandon Knight of Global Exchange received the Jennifer M. Granholm Leadership Award to recognize his leadership in encouraging youth and young professionals to support renewable energy. DTEEnergy, Invenergy, Greater Gratiot Development and Rich Vanderveen were recognized for the Gratiot Wind Farm, which was honored as the Exemplary Project of the Year. The Mason County Fair Assoc. was honored with the GLREA Appreciation Award for their generous support of the 2011 Michigan Energy Fair. www.glrea.org
Michigan Public Service Commission awarded grants from the Vulnerable Household Warmth Fund (VHWF), while vacating 3 previous orders dealing with grants from the Low-Income and Energy Efficiency Fund (LIEEF). The orders were issued in light of a July 21 Court of Appeals decision that determined the administration of the LIEEF “does not fall within the scope of the PSC’s general statutory powers.” In December, the legislature passed bills that authorized the creation of the VHWF for the purpose of providing payment of bills for electricity, natural gas, propane, heating oil, or any other type of fuel used to heat the primary residence of a vulnerable customer during the 2011-2012 heating season, and a supplemental appropriation allocating $23 million to the VHWF on a one-time basis. Separately, $35 million was appropriated directly to the Michigan Dept. of Human Services for their State Emergency Relief program.
Energy Optimization (EO) Program annual report has been issued by the MPSC. The report shows that overall, 2010 EO program savings achieved for electric utilities was 148% of the target, and savings achieved for natural gas utilities was 143% of the target. The report also shows that statewide funding for EO programs was $135 million in 2010 and that every dollar spent on the programs yields over $4 in cost savings to ratepayers. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mpsc/eo_legislature_report2011_369985_7.pdf
Habitat for Humanity Kent County has won the Green Build 2011 Award for Outstanding Program Commitment to LEED for Homes. Currently they have achieved 70 Certified LEED Projects. The spotlight project for their award was a 110-year-old single-family home in the historic Wealthy Heights neighborhood in SE Grand Rapids. The 53 HERS score for this home was, at the time, the most energy efficient home built by Habitat Kent. Habitat discovered that it costs approximately $8000 more to incorporate green building into a home and annual savings for electric, water, and heating will be at least $1,000 per year. http://www.alliancees.org/
Grand Valley State University is part of an initiative to bring renewable energy technology to income-qualified households and programs in Muskegon and Oceana counties. Muskegon Oceana Community Action Partnership Inc. was awarded a $3.2 million grant from DOE. It allows several contractors to install hybrid domestic hot water, solar domestic hot water or photovoltaic systems in single and multi-family units. Grand Valley’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon provides technical assistance and serves as a resource for the project. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/11/27/gvsu-mocap-bring-solar-power-to-income-eligible-households/
Consumers Energy has canceled a proposed 830 MW coal power plant near Bay City and expects to shutter 7 smaller coal units by 2015. Consumers indicated the canceling was due to lower demand for electricity, a glut of power generating capacity in the Midwest, and lower natural gas prices that make those plants cheaper to operate. The company had also said it will invest $1.6 billion to reduce emissions at five other plants. The investments and the closures of the 7 smaller plants will reduce Consumers’ power plant emissions by 90%. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/12/04/consumers-energy-cancels-new-coal-plant/
Mascoma Corp. has signed a cooperative agreement with DOE to assist in the design, construction, and operation of a commercial-scale hardwood cellulosic ethanol plant in Kinross, between St. Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie. The agreement provides for up to $80 million in DOE funding, in addition to $20 million in funding previously awarded by the DOE related to research and development for this project. Construction is anticipated to start in the next 3 to 6 months and is expected to be completed by year-end 2013. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/12/14/feds-give-mascoma-80-million-for-ethanol-plant-in-u-p/
Branch District Library in coordination with Coldwater Board of Public Utilities is issuing a RFP to identify, design and install energy saving improvements for the Branch District Library Building including mechanical, lighting, building envelope, and building control upgrades. Sealed proposals must be submitted by 2:00 pm on Feb. 3. All questions should go to Bob Granger at 517-279-6910. The mandatory pre-bid meeting and walkthrough will be held on Jan. 16. The complete RFP can be found atwww.coldwater.org.
Grand Valley State University recently hosted a Holland-to-Holland wind energy conversation through an Internet conference at the GVSU Meijer Campus in Holland. The tourism program manager for the northern Netherlands shoreline region told a group of West Michigan officials that the Egmond aan Zee offshore wind project has not hurt local tourism.http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2011/12/dutch_coastal_community_that_h.html
Oakland Community College has a 10-ft-by-20-ft Mobile Renewable Energy Center that will show students, general public and businesses how they can use renewable energy. The Center has educational displays including a PV system, solar water heater and wind generator. The mobile alternative energy lab is located at the Auburn Hills campus and will be used as a teaching tool for OCC’s sustainability program, but will go off campus to county school districts and other public places upon request. http://www.metromodemedia.com/devnews/1208occsolarwind0235.aspx?utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=OCC’s+solar+power+education+mobile+hits+the+road&utm_content=%7bEmail_Address%7d&utm_campaign=Experience+Counts
Townsend Energy Solutions was established in 2007 to invest in emerging technologies that focus on the energy sector. TES proposes to invest up to $237 million to locate advanced manufacturing of technologies and products related to energy efficiency in the former Ford Wixom Assembly facility. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/12/13/2nd-detroit-meijer-renewables-among-1-2-billion-new-investments-for-state/
OnSite Energy has announced a new partnership with MSU Extension’s Freeway to Fuels project which will test the potential of growing oilseed crops for bioenergy production. Previous research has led OnSite Energy to develop a fully automated biodiesel fuel processor. MSU has purchased a processor for use in farm demonstrations teaching farmers how to produce biodiesel. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/12/13/onsite-energy-msu-partner-on-freeway-to-fuels-project/
USGBC recently announced that the square footage of certified LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED EB: O&M) has exceeded the amount of square footage certified under the LEED for New Construction (NC) rating system by 15 million square feet. Notable LEED-certified EB: O&M projects include the Empire State Building and Taipei 101 (the second largest building in the world). http://www.green-buildings.com/content/782127-leed-retrofits-surpass-new-construction-creating-green-jobs
Deutsche Bank, Lego A/S and Motorola Mobility Holdings are among 15 companies getting at least 25% of their electricity from wind, or have pledged to do so.
They are the first companies certified to use the WindMade label. To qualify, a company must source a minimum of 25% of its electricity from wind power. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-18/lego-deutsche-bank-motorola-pledging-to-obtain-25-wind-power.html
nPower Wave Energy Converter, developed by Cleveland-based Tremont Electric, moves a magnet and induction coil by each other to generate pulses of current. The company proposes to drop converters into anchored buoys in Lake Erie and let the waves bounce them around. There are ocean projects using similar technology, but Tremont Electric is partnering with researchers to see if it will work in the Great Lakes. The wave converter is a scaled-up version of the company’s personal generator that bounces around in a purse or pocket to produce energy for electronic devices like cell phones. http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2011/12/06/cleveland-company-sees-energy-potential-in-great-lakes-waves/
17-year-old Alec Loorz, founder of Kids vs. Global Warming, and a group of young people have filed 10 lawsuits, one against the federal government and the others against individual states, to compel the government to take action on climate change. The lawsuits are based on a legal theory developed by University of Oregon law professor Mary Wood called “atmospheric trust litigation.” The theory “rests on the premise that all governments hold natural resources in trust for their citizens and bear the fiduciary obligation to protect such resources for future generations.” http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2011-12-08-the-young-and-the-restless-kids-sue-government-over-climate-chan
European Commission report shows that a scenario in which 97% of the EU’s electricity consumption is met by renewable energy – including 49% wind power in 2050 – would have the same overall energy system costs as any other decarbonization or business-as-usual scenario. The report – Energy Roadmap 2050 – is based on five scenarios all achieving a 85% decline in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger says he expects binding renewable energy targets for 2030 to be proposed and in place by 2014.
Top 10 Wind Energy Stories of 2011 include wind power hitting 20% in Iowa and South Dakota, wind contributing a record 50% for a period of time for Public Service Co. of Colorado, and the cost of wind turbines dropping 33%. http://cleantechnica.com/2011/12/29/wind-energy-top-10-2011/
Great Lakes Leadership Academy is hosting a forum on the future of energy production within Michigan on Jan. 18th, 6:30-8:30 pm at the Brody Complex, #112 on the MSU Campus. This will be an interactive forum featuring a panel of experts. The event is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP by Jan. 12th at http://gllaenergyforum.eventbrite.com/.
Oakland University SBA-SECS is offering an Energy Management Certificate Program. It is a 6 week program designed for busy professionals that will start January 21 and be held on Fridays & Saturdays, 9 am- 5 pm. Registration is underway. Visitwww.oakland.edu\energymgmt or contact Maureen Callaghan at 248-412-3235 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Institute of Public Utilities Michigan Forum on Economic Regulatory Policy will be held this year on January 27 at the Kellogg Center, MSU. The focus this year will be on the tension between economic and environmental policy goals. The Forum is a one-day conference designed specifically for the Michigan Public Service Commission, Michigan State Legislature, consumer advocates, utility industry representatives, and other stakeholders interested in Michigan regulatory policy.http://ipu.msu.edu/miforum/index.php
AWEA Midwest Wind Energy Summit will be held in Chicago on March 6 – 7. Providing a comprehensive view of the wind energy markets in the Midwest, the conference will be AWEA’s first regional event focusing on critical wind power issues. http://www.awea.org/events/AWEA-Midwest-Wind-Energy-Markets-Seminar-2012.cfm
Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum on Climate and Energy will be held on March 8, 7:00-8:30 pm at the Ann Arbor District Library, 343 South Fifth. www.a2gov.org/sustainability
MIAT (Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology) will be hosting the 7th Annual Career Expo on Tuesday, May 8 at the MIAT Canton campus. The event draws employers from Michigan and across the U.S. in the aviation, energy, and transportation industries. More than 5000 Veterans are invited to this event and the event is open to all job seekers. For more information or an exhibitor packet, contact Amy at email@example.com or 734.423.2100.
Source/Prepared by: John Sarver for Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA)