Energy Sustainability & Tech Fair cosponsored by Soulardarity, Parker Village, and GLREA was held in Highland Park on May 12. The format for the one-day event was five sessions that addressed different issues concerning renewable energy, environmental justice and technology. An evening reception with music was held at the Parker Village development. Over 100 people attended on a day of drenching rain. This Energy Fair was the first GLREA has cosponsored in the Highland Park/Detroit area and was a great success that we can build upon in the future.
Consumers Energy has filed an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) (U-20165) with the MPSC that outlines a path to using zero coal. The IRP details how the company will meet the state’s energy needs with increased use of energy efficiency and other customer demand management programs and significantly more renewable energy. The plan forecasts renewable energy levels of: 25% by 2025, 37% by 2030, and 43% by 2040. Consumers Energy is proposing 5,000 MW of solar energy with a ramp-up throughout the 2020s . This incremental strategy provides flexibility. More details.
West Bloomfield Board of Education has approved a 20 kW solar array that will provide all the electricity necessary for the science department at the high school. With total fundraising over $16,000 and grants totaling over $7,000, the EARTH club has accrued enough funding. Installation will happen in the fall and students will participate to the fullest extent possible. A couple of videos give a quick summary – Solar Schools video submission and board presentation.
CMS Energy has announced the addition of two new planned wind energy parks to its portfolio that will produce up to 250 MW. CMS has entered into an agreement to own, construct and operate the Gratiot Farms Wind Project currently being developed by Tradewind Energy. The project will include up to 75 wind turbines with a capacity of up to 150 MW and is expected to be operational in late 2020. CMS has also signed an agreement to purchase the 105 MW Northwest Ohio Wind project under construction by Starwood Energy Group Global. Construction is expected to be completed by fall 2018. The Ohio project will play a key role in offsetting carbon emissions from 7 GM plants in the Midwest. More details.
Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU), sponsored by American Solar Energy Society, is now accepting members, opening savings accounts, and making loans. CECU is a first-of-its-kind, online-only financial institution that’s focused solely on clean energy lending. Every dollar deposited will earn interest, be federally insured, and be used exclusively to help other members pursue their clean energy projects. CECU offers loans for electric vehicles, solar electric systems, green home improvements, and e-bikes. Membership in ASES is a prerequisite for joining CECU. More details.
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has said the company has about 11,000 energy storage projects currently in the works across Puerto Rico. The company has officially reported installations at more than 660 locations throughout the island. While many of these are at private residences, Tesla has indicated their efforts are aimed at projects supporting critical facilities, e.g. wastewater treatment facility, water pumping station, elderly housing, and hospitals. More details.
Highview Power has opened the world’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage (LAES) plant that involves using off-peak or renewable electricity to cool air to -196°C (-320˚F), at which point it turns into a liquid that can then be stored in low-pressure vessels. When the liquid air is released and turns back into a gas, it rapidly expands driving a turbine. The technology could provide longer-duration energy storage than batteries. The pilot plant, at a landfill gas site in NW England, is a 5MW/15MWh facility that will be able to power 5,000 homes for 3 hours and will demonstrate how the technology can provide reserve, grid balancing and regulation services. More details.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast has batteries, wind, solar, and the decentralized energy systems of Australia and Japan as the winners. Coal is the loser. Of the $11.5 trillion that the world will invest in power from 2018 to 2050, $8.4 trillion will go to wind and solar and $548 billion to batteries. The report predicts a continual tumbling of lithium-ion battery prices, already down by nearly 80% since 2010. Australia and Japan are on track to develop the two most decentralized electric systems in the world. The report forecasts that 34% of Japan’s installed electric capacity will come from decentralized sources by 2050 and Australia will top that with 44%. More details.
Solar Home Tour will be Saturday, October 6 in communities across Michigan. If you would like to organize or participate in a local tour, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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