GLREA is announcing a “Renewable Energy Photo Contest – 2018” with awards to be given at our annual meeting in December. If you have a great picture of a renewable energy system or event, submit it. Fame and fortune may be yours! The rules are simple. The photo must have something to do with renewable energy and be taken in 2018. There will be two categories, one for business entries and one for individual entries. To get a flyer with all the rules along with directions on submitting your prize winning photos, email Dave Konkle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DTE has filed an 1108-page rate case with the MPSC on July 6. It includes a new $13 million program to deploy electric vehicle charging stations, a new Distributed Generation tariff to replace net metering, an increase in fixed charges, a per-kW charge on its customers who go solar, and a move to default time-of-use rates for residential customers. DTE has proposed a new System Access Contribution (SAC) of $2.28-$2.31 per kW based on the rated capacity of a PV system. The SAC would only apply to new customers. The company is also seeking to bump up its fixed charge for residential customers from $7.50 to $9.00 per month. More details. More details on SAC & DG Tariff.
Michigan Conservative Energy Forum report highlights the potential economic impact as utilities comply with a 15% renewable energy standard by 2021. It also projects the impact if Consumers Energy and DTE reach 30% renewable by 2027, which is generally in line with the stated goals of the companies. By the end of next year, the report estimates a total economic impact of $3.8 billion — which includes direct, indirect and induced benefits — and $1.4 billion in employee compensation. By 2027, the total economic impact could be $10.3 billion. More details.
Consumers Energy plans a major shift to solar energy over the next two decades, but the extent to which the utility will rely on third-party developers remains unclear. According to the company’s Integrated Resource Plan, Consumers plans to own or contract for 6,350 MW of solar energy by 2040. Roughly 5,000 MW of this would take place during the 2020s. The company now owns or contracts for 11 MW of solar. Consumers says it hasn’t determined how much of the 6,350 MW of solar would be contracted from developers or built by the utility. The company proposes a new competitive bid process for future projects, which the utility says will reflect a more accurate market price than the current PURPA process. By 2040, Consumers plans a resource mix that is 43% renewables, 10% natural gas, 6% energy storage, and 41% market purchases. More details.
One of our GLREA members is in the news. Channel 7 ABC Action News had a story about Craig Toepfer using his solar carport to charge his electric vehicle. More details.
Electric Vehicles can now park in the shade of a solar carport (see photo above) across from the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. The Downtown Development Authority has unveiled a 36-panel, 11 kW solar array over 3 existing EV charging stations in a public parking lot in Kerrytown. One of the charging spots is dedicated for GV’s Maven car-sharing service. The other two charging spots are open to the public. DDA officials consider this a demonstration project before they consider doing PV arrays at other parking lots and garages. More details.
Solar Power in Ypsilanti was the topic of a Michigan Municipal League 25-minute podcast. Find out the latest from Dave Stenski. More details.
Lakeview Hill Farm, a 58-acre farm in Leelanau County, has installed a 20 kW ground-tilt solar array. Thanks to tax credits and grants, the project will pay for itself in just more than two years. The project was discussed during one of the Friday breakout sessions at the Michigan Clean Energy Conference & Expo held at Northwestern Michigan College in June. The total system cost was $32,305, but that was trimmed to $9,538, by a 30% federal tax credit, a 25% USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant, a $5,000 Cherry Republic solar grant, and 40 hours of farm staff labor. The solar array should produce 29,500 kWh annually. More details.
Western Sydney University has won the American Solar Challenge, making them the first international team to win the 2,800 kilometer race. The race took place over nine days with the route running across four states, from Nebraska to Oregon. In their vehicle, UNLIMITED 2.0, the Western Sydney University team took first place with a time of 37 hours and 55 minutes, 16 minutes faster than the second place team from the University of Michigan. UofM Solar Car Team raced Novum, the school’s smallest and most aerodynamic solar vehicle in hopes of taking home the school’s 7th consecutive win. More details.
Ohio Power Siting Board has recommended a conditional approval for the 20.7 MW Icebreaker offshore win project in Lake Erie. There will be six 3.45 MW turbines 8-10 miles off the shore of Cleveland. A major condition on the approval was a monitoring plan to assess the impact on bats and birds. Construction is planned to start summer of 2020 and end a year later. More details.
Green Mountain Power (GMP) tapped into its network of two utility-scale solar plus storage facilities and around 500 distributed Tesla Powerwalls to lower system-wide peak demand during a recent heat wave in Vermont. GMP leveraged stored energy to accomplish the equivalent of taking 5,000 homes off the grid, creating savings for customers that could reach $500,000. More details.
Storage Added to solar and wind projects during the last 6-12 months has added about 1.5 cents to the per kWh cost of NextEra installations. By the middle of the next decade, the added cost is expected to fall to around half a cent per kWh. That will translate into wind+storage prices of around $0.025/kWh and solar+storage prices around $0.035/kWh. At those prices, “nearly firm” wind and solar, without incentives, will be less expensive than the operating cost of traditional power plants. More details.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power wants to create energy storage by equipping the Hoover Dam with a $3 billion pipeline and a pump station powered by solar and wind. The pump station, downstream, would send water back to the top to help manage electricity at times of peak demand. When solar and wind farms produce more electricity than consumers need, California utilities have had to find ways to get rid of it including giving it away to other states. The target for completion is 2028, and some say the effort could inspire similar innovations at other dams. Lazard, the financial advisory and asset management firm, has estimated that utility-scale lithium-ion batteries cost 26 cents/kWh compared with 15 cents for a pumped-storage hydro project. More details.
DTE Energy invites the public to participate in long-term energy planning at an August 16 open house. This is an opportunity to learn about the company’s energy planning process and provide input on the process and provide input on the company’s long term plans to transform its mix of generation. The session will be on Aug. 16, 4-7 pm at Schoolcraft College.
Solarize Meridian Workshop will be held on August 16, 6:45-7:45 at Haslett Library, 1590 Franklin St. in Haslett. Local solar owners will share their experiences and you can learn about how solar works, cost savings, net metering, financing, tax credits, selecting a solar system and contractor, and more. No cost to attend and all are welcome. A similar workshop will be held on August 23, 7:00-8:00 pm at Harris Nature Center, 3998 Van Atta Rd. in Okemos.
Battery Show North America to be held in Novi on Sept. 11-13 will bring together more than 8,000 engineers and executives and more than 600 leading suppliers. The conference will cover advanced battery technologies, electric and hybrid vehicles, and critical power technologies. 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 email@example.com.
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