Michigan Renewable Energy Fair is almost here! June 26 & 27 at the Ingham County Fairgrounds. Skip Pruss, former Director of the Michigan Dept. of Energy, will speak at noon on Saturday and Sen. Gary Peters has also been invited to speak. Patrick King, VP for Channel Sales for Suniva, will be the noon keynote speaker on Friday. Tom Wind, a national expert on Community Wind from Iowa, has been added to the Saturday workshop schedule.
The Michigan Solar Users Network (MiSUN) kick-off meeting will be held on Saturday at 11 am. Come and become a founding member of the new group, hear testimonials, and get a free “Love My Solar!” bumper sticker. MiSUN has a new Facebook page. Go to Facebook.com/MiSolarUsers, “like” the page, and share a photo of your solar system.
Michigan Electric Auto Assoc. and Michigan Tesla Owners will host their Electric Vehicle Show at the Fair on Saturday, June 27. Learn about, touch, and drive electric vehicles. 15 vehicles are expected including a number of Teslas.
Individual memberships in GLREA are half price during June. Stay connected, get invited to GLREA events, and come to the Fair for free. You can join GLREA or renew your membership at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1559392. You can also buy tickets there for the Fair (members will be given a promo code after you join or renew), the reception and banquet Friday night, and the breakfast on Saturday morning.
SoCore Energy (www.SoCoreEnergy.com) is a market leader in commercial and industrial solar portfolio development. With hundreds of solar solutions designed and installed across 19 states, SoCore offers multisite retailers, REITs and industrial companies portfolio-wide solar solutions that provide energy cost savings and carbon reduction opportunities. As a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Edison International, SoCore combines Edison’s Fortune 500 stability with entrepreneurial creativity in order to provide energy solutions that customers genuinely want and need.
Consumers Energy’s request to amend its renewable energy plan by adding a community solar program has been conditionally approved by the MPSC. It would be the first community solar program offered by a regulated electric utility in Michigan. Participants have the opportunity to purchase subscriptions in 500 watt blocks and receive a bill credit for 25 years based on the amount of electricity generated by the solar installation. The Commission directed the MPSC staff to convene a Solar Working Group within 30 days that includes representatives from the utility and interested stakeholders to specifically focus on a just and reasonable value of capacity in the “value of solar” (VOS) calculation. By Sept. 30, the MPSC staff will file a report with recommendations for a more predictable and fair VOS calculation method. Find the MPSC order here.
SolarYpsi has made it possible for you to fly over Ypsilanti and check out the many solar installations in the city. Check out the Getto videos and other videos at
Democratic Legislative Package has been introduced in the Michigan legislature that would expand utility requirements for renewable electric generation to 20% by 2022 and double the energy efficiency standards to two percent per year. The Senate package (SB 295, 296 and 297) was co-sponsored by every Democratic senator and the overwhelming majority of Democratic members of the House joined in co-sponsoring one or more House bills (HB 4055, 4518, and 4519).
DTE Energy’s proposal for a new nuclear power plant in Monroe has been approved by federal regulators after a 7 year process. DTE says it has no immediate plans to build an additional unit at the Fermi plant. Fermi 2 has been operating since 1988, while Fermi 1 has been turned off since 1972. Fermi 3 would contain a 1,600 MW reactor. More details.
Louis A. McMurray Conference & Transportation Center has been recognized for its energy savings at the annual Michigan Battle of the Buildings award ceremony. Presented by US Green Buildings Council of West Michigan, the challenge was described as “an energy reduction war,” “a crusade against kilowatts,” and “a barrage against BTUs.” The McMurray center was named “The Biggest Loser” in the Public Buildings category for saving 9% on energy usage, both gas and electric. More details. In the Education Category, the Pierce Creek Foundation Visitors Center won 1st place by reducing its usage by 2% and in the Senior Living Category, Porter Hills won 1st place by reducing its usage by 13%. Other 2014 award winners can be found here.
DTE Energy is teaming with Ford Motor and Domino’s Farms to build and operate the two largest solar arrays in Michigan. DTE has begun construction of 1.1 MW PV array at Domino’s Farms, just east of Ann Arbor, which will be completed and operational by the end of the year. Meanwhile, a solar project at Ford Motor World Headquarters in Dearborn became operational. The 1 MW project provides Ford employees with 360 covered parking spaces and 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. DTE has installed nearly 10 MW of solar energy across 22 sites in metro Detroit and the Thumb. More details.
Tesla Motors has unveiled batteries that can power homes and businesses as it expands beyond its vehicle business. Elon Musk announced the firm would build batteries that would allow consumers to go off grid or bring energy to remote off-grid areas. Tesla plans to start shipping rechargeable lithium-ion units this summer and will partner with SolarCity to install the home batteries. Tesla will sell the Powerwall 7 kWh unit for $3,000, while the 10 kWh unit will retail for $3,500 to installers. More details.
Black & Veatch has commissioned a new microgrid system for its world headquarters in Kansas. The microgrid, which can produce up to 1,300 MWH of power annually, combines natural gas, rooftop solar, geothermal and battery storage. Two natural gas microturbines deliver 130 kW and includes heat recovery. A geothermal system with 15 wells drilled 500 feet deep helps heat and cool the Pavilion. Rooftop PV provides 50 kW at peak output and 100 kWh lithium-ion battery system supplies storage. More details.
First Net Zero Energy Community in CA will be 50 miles east of LA and have 20 homes. The Meritage Homes will achieve net zero energy by using fresh air ventilation, PV, heat pumps, highly insulated windows, energy efficient lighting, smart appliances, and smart chargers. It is expected that the homes will use 60% less energy than a home built to the California Energy Code. These homes will need 3.5-4.5 kW PV systems. More details.
Maryland has passed legislation to allow for a three-year pilot to construct community solar project under the authority of the Maryland Public Service Commission. Utilities will be able to own and operate community solar projects. If the utility is not the owner, the utility would be required to purchase the solar power at the amount it would have cost the electric company to procure the energy. More details.
Minnesota’s Biggest Solar Project has been approved by state regulators. The $250 million, 100 MW Aurora Solar Project by Geronimo Energy will have ground-mounted solar panels at 21 mostly rural sites. Geronimo plans to finish the project in 2016 and sell the power to Xcel Energy. Last year, the project successfully competed in a PUC bidding process against natural gas projects. Geronimo will install solar panels that track the sun from east to west, capturing solar power late in the day when electricity demand rises. More details.
Crowdfunding 2015 Conference will be held on June 2, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at GVSU-MAREC in Muskegon. Learn what is required to build a high quality local investment market through the MILE Act including Community Solar projects. More details.
Michigan Energy Forum – What’s Next in Nuclear Energy? will be held on June 4, 5:00 pm at SPARK Central, 330 East Liberty, Ann Arbor. Hear from Michigan nuclear power plant operators, researchers, and local entrepreneurs. Register here.
Energy Independence is the theme of the annual Michigan Renewable Energy Fair that will be held June 26-27, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason. There will be workshops, exhibits, electric vehicles, kids’ activities, music, and food! www.glrea.org.
Solar 2015 with the theme “Expanding Horizons: Shaping the New Energy Economy” is sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society and will be held at Penn State on July 28-30. Early Bird pricing ends June 15th.
Northeast Ohio Solar Conference sponsored by Green Energy Ohio will be held July 23, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Motocars Honda, 2953 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland Heights. The Solar Canopy there is the largest single covered solar structure at any dealership in the country. The conference will include expert speakers, green trade show, and Young Professionals Reception. Registration will be at www.greenenergyoh.org
Solar PV Entry Level Training will be held on August 24-28, 8 am – 5 pm at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City. This one week intensive course prepares attendees for the NABCEP exam. Cost is $599. For details, call 231-995-1701.
Michigan Interfaith Power & Light’s 10th Annual Sustainability Conference will be held on October 9 at Peoples Church in East Lansing. The conference will provide attendees with actionable information about sustainability, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. More details.
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