National Solar Home Tour will be Saturday, Oct. 4 in a number of Michigan communities including Lansing, Ypsilanti, Chelsea, and Kalamazoo. Meet your neighbors and learn about their solar experiences. Specifics are posted at www.glrea.org. Also Farmington Hills City Hall, 31555 W. 11 Mile will be open on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 10:45 for a tour. The Municipal Building has solar panels, solar water heater, rain gardens, rooftop gardens, and geothermal. RSVP: http://sc.org/MIOaklandSolarTour
Annual GLREA member meeting will be in Chelsea on Saturday, Dec. 6, 12:30 –4:30. Save the date.
Pristine Sun is an independent power producer and a leading developer of small utility-scale PV, with 15 such projects constructed in 2013 that are owned and operated by Pristine Sun, 125 projects in late-stage development, and over 400 projects in active development across the U.S. Having developed and constructed over $100 Million (26 MW) of utility, commercial and industrial solar power plants in 2013, Pristine Sun has achieved a track record of 600% compound annual growth in watts energized per year since 2009. Pristine Sun’s specialty is building dozens of small 1-5 MW solar power plants in a region at one time. Pristine Sun, originally backed by a $24 billion private equity fund, has a 2 GW solar pipeline with 750 MW of “real” projects under active development. www.pristinesun.com
Lansing’s First Solar Power-Dok picnic table has been installed at the Lansing City Market. The idea for the picnic table and solar docking ports was developed by Lansing-based EnerFusion Inc. and its owner Joe Kobus. The table has solar panels attached to the umbrella and delivers electricity to four GFCI outlets and four USB power outlets that can charge gadgets such as cell phones, smart phones, and laptops. See photo above.
Anonymous Donor has selected six Ypsilanti non-profit organizations to receive 5 kW rooftop PV systems. This past summer the donor contacted SolarYpsi wondering how to support renewable energy. SolarYpsi volunteers suggested finding local organizations that have buildings suitable for a 5 kW PV system. Selected buildings include a health center, senior center, community center, library, and a school. By coordinating these projects as one job, SolarYpsi was able to get bids with lower overall pricing. The winning contractor was S.U.R Energy of Ann Arbor, which offered an average install price of under $3 per watt.
Consumers Energy recently selected 20 residential projects (182 kW) for its Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP). Future solicitations will be open October 1 and have deadlines of November 5. 731.7 kW of non-residential and 158 kW of residential will be solicited. www.ConsumersEnergy.com/EARP
Levin Energy Partners, Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office and Ecology Center are pleased to announce registration is now open for the first round of Lean & Green Michigan PACE contractor training this fall. The training will help electrical, mechanical and plumbing contractors, solar installers, energy auditors, architects, ESCOs and other interested companies to make the most of Michigan’s rapidly growing PACE market. Training will be held at six locations: Warren (Oct. 9), Lansing (Oct. 16), Detroit (Oct. 21), Traverse City (Oct. 23), Saginaw (Oct. 28) and Ann Arbor (Oct. 30). The cost is $150.00 if you preregister and $180 on the day of training. www.leanandgreenmi.com
Coldwater Board of Public Utility will have 13 MW of generation to provide local power in an emergency and to possibly also provide heat and carbon dioxide to Mastronardi greenhouses if an agreement can be reached. The three 4.3 MW natural gas-fired generators will replace the city’s old WW II diesels as well as nine MSCPA diesel units that were sold off when they could not be economically brought up to current federal environmental regulations. More details.
DTE’s Echo Wind Park is officially online. The 112 MW project was originally scheduled to begin commercial operation in Nov. 2013, but DTE halted work after a blade from a GE 1.6 MW turbine broke off. GE determined the failure was due to a spar cap manufacturing anomaly. Now that Echo Wind Park is operating, DTE has hit 9.6% and is on track to meet the 10% RPS standard. The project will tie into the new 345 kV transmission system built in the Thumb. More details.
Energy Survey of 2,477 voters in the Midwest was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and FM3 on behalf of RE-AMP. It found that in six Midwestern states –Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin – only 14% of respondents believe wind turbines harm human health. Among the states surveyed, the lowest percentage of people who believe wind turbines cause health problems (7%) was in Iowa, a state that leads the nation in wind energy. The highest percentage believing such claims (21%) was in Wisconsin, a state which has far fewer wind farms and where some political leaders have in recent years has been hostile to renewable energy. In Michigan, only 18% of respondents believe wind turbines harm human health.
Kyocera Corp., Century Tokyo Leasing Corp., and Ciel et Terre International have begun construction on what the companies are referring to as the world’s largest floating solar power installation. Using Hydrelio floating solar platforms provided by Ciel et Terre, Kyocera will develop and operate two installations amounting to 2.9 MW in Kato City, Japan. More details.
Deepwater Wind has received the final federal approval needed to build the Block Island Wind Farm — a project that remains on-track to be the nation’s first offshore wind farm. The project’s lead federal permitting agency, Army Corps of Engineers, granted its approval Sept. 5. Deepwater Wind has begun the initial stages of construction on the 30 MW wind farm, which will be about 3 miles off the coast of Block Island, RI. Offshore construction is expected to begin next summer, with the wind farm operational in 2016.
Energy Storage Demonstrations from Hawaii to eastern Canada are showing that a “fleet” of water or space heaters can act as a sort of fast-acting sponge that absorbs extra electricity on the grid. The emerging term for this technology is the grid-integrated water heater (GIWH). The unit’s wireless controller is connected to the Internet or to a cell network, and it switches the heat on or off very quickly, even in microseconds. A four-year test is wrapping up in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island where 17 MW of heaters in homes and businesses are storing energy in tandem with the forecast output from wind turbines.
Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed new efficiency standards that would slash commercial rooftop air conditioner energy use by about 30%. The proposed standards would achieve the largest national energy savings of any standard ever issued by DOE. DOE estimates that over the lifetime of units sold over thirty years, the proposed standards would save businesses between $16 and $50 billion and reduce electricity consumption by about 1.3 trillion kWh’s.
Glidepath has been developing three $20 million battery storage facilities in northern Illinois that can be tapped to quickly deal with fluctuations in demand on the grid. With a combined 60 MW of capacity, each site is composed of nine containers, each with 80,000 lithium-based batteries, on a footprint of about 100 feet by 200 feet. The facilities, which look like rows of shipping containers, together represent the largest project of its kind in North America. ComEd expects the three projects to hook into its electrical grid in the spring. More details.
Dakota Power Community Wind has surpassed the initial $1.5 million fundraising goal. 110 investors across the state have partnered with Lincoln County landowners to raise enough money to launch the 300 MW project. Additional investments are being accepted through the end of the year or until the total reaches $4 million. Turbine construction is not expected to begin until 2018. More details.
Michigan Energy Forum – Alternative Fuel Technologies will be hosted by SPARK on October 2, 5-7 pm in Ann Arbor.
Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will be held on Nov. 12, 6:00-9:00 pm at the Kellogg Center. This annual event sponsored by MEIBC celebrates the companies and individuals who are working to build Michigan’s growing advanced clean energy industry and includes networking opportunities, keynote, and awards.
Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference will be held on November 19 at the Radisson Hotel Lansing. Explore a showcase of Michigan’s advanced lighting products, services and solutions.
AWEA Michigan Wind Energy Forum will be at the Kellogg Center, MSU on January 20. Save the date!
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