AmazonSmile is an easy and no cost way for you to support GLREA. When you shop at smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com, you will find the exact same shopping experience with the bonus that the Amazon Foundation will donate a portion (0.5%) of the purchase price to GLREA. This will help us promote the growth of renewable energy in Michigan.
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com. You will see the same, identical account on both and your shopping cart, Wish List, and other account settings are the same. On your first visit to smile.amazon.com, you can select GLREA to receive donations. Just type in “GLREA” and confirm Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association. From then on every eligible purchase you make will result in a donation. We greatly appreciate all donations made through AmazonSmile.
Ypsilanti is one of 170 teams participating in the SunShot Prize: Solar in Your Community Challenge. SolarYpsi and Chart House Energy have the chance to win $500,000 that could be used to create a solar rebate program for Ypsilanti residents. For the challenge, the Ypsi team plans to install PV systems at New Parkridge housing development, Ypsilanti Dept. of Public Services, and the old landfill. The effort will involve training local residents (see photo above) for future solar projects. More details.
Cherryland Electric Coop with help from the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) has kicked off Michigan’s first pilot program to help make renewable energy accessible to low-income customers. Each participant has 9 panel shares in the Spartan Solar community solar array in Cadillac and will receive a monthly bill credit of 10 cents/kWh for the output of their shares, or about $350 each year. Funding for the pilot program comes from MAE, which provided an $80,000 grant, Cherryland, and the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. More details.
Consumers Energy’s Second Energy District, a hub for energy innovation, will be created in downtown Jackson. The Jackson Smart Energy District will incorporate solar panels, electric vehicle charging, high performance buildings, and battery storage. The company’s first energy district was created in Grand Rapids in 2017.
DTE Energy will depend almost entirely on wind energy to meet its state renewable energy requirements between now and 2021. In filings with state regulators, the utility said it plans to add roughly 700 MW of new wind generation by 2021 to comply with the 15% renewable energy standard. DTE plans to build another 300 MW of wind in 2020 to meet demand for renewable energy from large customers and has plans for “significantly more renewables beyond 2022.” DTE also plans to build a $1 billion, 1100 MW natural gas plant to replace a portion of its aging coal fleet. More details.
Fake News Awards have been given to Great Lakes Energy News, New York Times, CNN, and Washington Post. The Great Lakes Energy News has been reporting fake news every year on April 1 for over 15 years. Editor John Sarver was thrilled that the April 1 news items have finally been recognized as great fake news. More details.
Consumers Energy’s Green Rider Tariff Program now has GM and Switch as customers. Two GM plants in Flint and Switch’s 1.8 million sq.ft. data center in Flint are in the new green tariff program designed for Consumers’ larger customers. More details.
St. Clair Inn’s PACE project is Michigan’s largest PACE project and the second to close in 2018. Planet Clair, LLC implemented a broad array of updates at the Inn, including LED lights, efficient appliances and water saving measures, using over $5.5 million in PACE financing.
Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Roadmap has been issued by the MPSC. The MPSC has urged utilities (Case No. U-18368) to launch their own or collaborative pilot projects as a way to test market interest. The MPSC also called on utilities to consider the anticipated growth of PEV demand and electric load forecasting in their five-year distribution planning process. Podcasts of collaborative technical conferences can be found here.
West Bloomfield HS Earth Club has been working on a 20 kW PV project for the high school. Since 1993, the Earth Club has involved hundreds of students in projects including a 3.44 solar tracker installed in 2010. The 20 kW PV system would power the science department and is being researched, planned, acquired, and installed by students. Go to http://bit.ly/WBHS-my-solar-school-video for more details. The Earth Club has raised over $20,000 to date and needs $5,000 more. They hope donors will fill the gap with their “$5k by Earth Day” campaign.
Los Angeles could achieve 100% renewable energy by 2030 according to a new report prepared by Synapse Energy Economics for the nonprofit Food & Water Watch. The report explores two pathways for LA to reach 100% and finds that energy storage combined with 3.6 to 6 GW of solar, along with wind, geothermal, and hydropower, could reliably meet the hourly electricity demand needs of the city at a lower cost than fossil fuels. More details.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has voted to remove barriers to the participation of electric storage resources in the capacity, energy and ancillary services markets operated by regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs). More details.
John Moura, director of reliability assessment and system analysis at the North American Electric Reliability Corp. recently said at a US Energy Assoc. event that, with the right policies and infrastructure, the US could get most of its electricity from renewable resources without hurting the performance of the power grid. According to Moura, “You can have 30%, 40%, 80% renewable resources, you just have to plan and operate the system correctly.” “We’re reliability extremists,” said Moura, whose group became FERC’s designated electric reliability organization in 2006. More details.
Illinois Regulators have approved Commonwealth Edison’s microgrid cluster in Chicago that will integrate with another microgrid already in operation at nearby Illinois Institute of Technology. The first phase to be completed next year will include solar and battery storage. The second phase will add 4.5 MW of load and 7 MW of distributed energy resources. The project will serve an area that includes 10 facilities providing critical services, including Chicago Public Safety Headquarters, De La Salle Institute and Math & Science Academy, library, public works buildings, restaurants, health clinics, public transportation, educational facilities, and churches. More details.
IRS has signaled a taxpayer could utilize the 30% investment tax credit on a battery storage system retrofit of an existing residential solar system The private letter ruling applies to solar arrays built in a previous tax year, and a battery system qualifies only if it is charged exclusively by the solar array. It’s important to note, this ruling is not a blanket guidance but rather signals how IRS would likely rule given the same set of criteria.
MI Earth Day Fest will be April 20-22 at Rochester Municipal Park/City Center. The 13th annual Earth Day celebration will kick off at 4pm on Friday and run through 4pm Sunday. Admission to the event and all programs are free. More details.
Solarize Meridian presentations are now being scheduled with local civic groups and churches in Meridian Township. Presentations will include a solar overview and a case study from a local homeowner that has a solar system: April 11, 11:30 am Lunch & Learn at the Meridian Senior Center, April 26, 7:00 pm at Okemos Public Library, and April 28, noon at the Islamic Center in E. Lansing. Further information: Harvey@meridian.mi.us More details.
Michigan Geothermal Energy Assoc. 2018 Conference will be held on April 24, 6:00-10:00 PM, and April 25, 8:00 AM-1:00 PM at Soaring Eagle Resort in Mt. Pleasant. Keynote speaker will be Dianna Cacko from WECC, a national leader in the design and implementation of innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. For further information, contact Larry Kaufman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AWEA Windpower 2018 will be held in Chicago on May 7-10.
Energy Sustainability & Tech Fair will be held in Highland Park on May 12, 11am-8pm. Event locations include Parker Village, Prayer Temple of Love, and Soulardarity. The community, professionals, and activists are invited to share experiences and ideas on creating a sustainable community. Information: ParkerVillageHP@gmail.com
Michigan Clean Energy Conference & Expo will be held by the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities in Traverse City on June 21-23. From a Thursday night kick-off solstice party, to Friday’s Clean Energy Conference, to Saturday’s Energy Expo at NMC, there will be something for everyone. More details
ASES Solar 2018 will be held at the University of Colorado in Boulder on August 5-8. www.ases.org/conference
April Fools on the Fake News Award for the newsletter! This newsletter will have no more fake news until April 1, 2019. This newsletter is free. If you would like to subscribe, send a note to email@example.com. Interested in getting information on energy programs and issues more frequently, visit our Facebook page and “follow” us. Interested in supporting renewable energy and becoming a GLREA member, you can join here.