Annual GLREA Membership Meeting will be held on Dec. 5, 12:00-4:30 at Pietro’s in Grand Rapids. The annual meeting includes lunch, updates on GLREA activities and state legislation, annual awards, and election of new board members. The keynote speaker will be Mary Ellen Mika, Manager of Global Sustainability Initiatives for Steelcase. To attend you must register today December 1 at www.glrea.org. There will be a silent auction. If you have any items to donate, please contact Mary McGraw at email@example.com.
GLREA is soliciting proposals for Financial Management and Web Site contractual services for calendar year 2016. If interested, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the RFP.
Harvest Energy Solutions is a full-service distributor, engineer and installer of renewable and energy saving products, specializing in rural residential, agricultural and commercial energy solutions throughout the Midwest. From product selection and site assessment to on-site installation and follow-up maintenance, the company partners with its customers throughout the entire process. Since 2006, Harvest Energy’s goal has been to assist farmers and ranchers, businesses and home owners, in becoming more sustainable, efficient and independent with renewable energy. Staff includes NABCEP certified installers and NABCEP certified PV technical sales professionals. Other products include High-Velocity, Low-Speed (HVLS) fans, solar water pumps, LED lighting, off-grid solar and other rural lifestyle products. The company is headquartered in Jackson. For more information, visit www.HarvestEnergySolutions.com or call 1-877-788-0220.
HB 4297 and HB 4298 were passed out of the House Energy Policy Committee on Nov. 5. HB 4297, which includes renewable energy and energy efficiency, was reported 21-3-1 and HB 4298, which includes energy choice, was voted out 18-7. HB 4297 was amended to include a 30% goal (not a requirement) from renewable sources and energy waste reduction by 2025. Another amendment changed the definition of renewable energy to exclude the burning of items such as tires and petroleum coke. HB 4298 retains energy choice at 10%, but requires alternative energy suppliers to prove they can serve customers three years into the future. More details.
Stanford University professor Marc Jacobson says every state in the U.S. could get 100% of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2050 and save money. In Michigan, 40% of the state’s electric needs could be met with on-shore wind power, 31% from off-shore wind, and more than 26% from solar energy. Significant amounts of energy would have to be stored, but he thinks plenty of power can be stored in vehicle batteries. Demand for electricity could also be better controlled with time-of-day pricing. Jacobson’s analysis shows the cost of 100% renewables at 11 cents/kWh on average. More details.
Michigan Electric Cooperatives will triple the state’s 10% renewable energy requirement due to a deal between Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative and Exelon. Exelon plans to break ground on its Michigan Wind 3 project in Sanilac County next spring and expects to deliver electricity to the Cadillac-based G&T by December 2016 under a 20-year, 153 MW power purchase agreement. When Michigan Wind 3 is complete, Wolverine will have more than 350 MW of wind generation and Michigan cooperatives will achieve a 30% renewable level. More details.
Sonia Swartzendruber did a “Happy with Solar Electricity” article for the Nov/Dec issue of Home Power Magazine (pp. 16-17). In the photo above, her rooster Dutch is seen guarding her 3.3 kW system. Check it out. More details.
Utilities have spent more than $1.6 million to influence legislators and the public during an energy policy overhaul this year, according to campaign finance, lobby disclosure and FCC records. In less than a year the state’s two largest utilities, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, have donated over $500,000 to officeholders. Citizens for Michigan’s Energy Future has spent more than $800,000 on television ads across the state this year. The Alliance for Solar Choice has one multi-client lobbyist, DTE Energy has 39 registered lobbyists and two lobbying firms, and Consumers has 30 lobbyists and one lobbying firm. More details.
Melissa Anderson did a presentation on her church’s (Plymouth United Church of Christ in Grand Rapids) recent solar installation at the annual Michigan IPL Conference. You can find the presentation under Workshop Session II at http://www.miipl.org/presentations/.
Statoil will build the world’s first floating wind farm in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It will be a 30 MW wind turbine farm 25km offshore at a water depth of 95-120m. Production start is expected in late 2017. The concept has been tested through six years of successful operation of a prototype installed off the island of Karmøy in Norway. More details.
USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is accepting grant applications to assist rural small businesses and agricultural producers by conducting and promoting energy audits, and providing renewable energy development assistance. Eligible entities include state, local, and tribal governments; public power entities; rural electric cooperatives; and land-grant colleges or universities. Applications due Feb. 1, 2016. Learn more .
TXU Energy’s free electricity at night plan, which is coupled with slightly higher daytime rates, is one of dozens that have been offered by more than 50 retail electricity companies in Texas over the last 3 years. Texas is the largest deregulated electricity market in the country. In June 2013, 135,320 households had enrolled in “time of use” plans in the Ercot region. That number climbed to 290,328, out of more than six million residences, in September 2014. More details.
US’s Tallest Onshore Wind Tower and one of only a few made from concrete rather than steel will be operating on a wind farm in SW Iowa by early 2016. MidAmerican Energy, which soon will have 3,300 MW of wind power in Iowa, decided to experiment with new technology to allow it to access faster winds at higher heights. The new tower will be 377 feet from the ground to the hub. MidAmerican’s towers are typically 263 feet tall. The tower will be made of concrete pieces that will be cast on site, then assembled. More details.
Lean & Green Michigan Contractor Training will be held on Dec. 8, 8:00 AM to 12:00 N at the Genesee County Administration Building. Attendees will receive a manual with all the information needed to use PACE financing, USB drive with electronic copies of the training materials, breakfast, and an overview of Michigan Saves. Register
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