Michigan Solar Home & Sustainability Tour will be held on Saturday, October 6 as part of the American Solar Energy Society’s (ASES) National Solar Home Tour. The Tour is the world’s largest grassroots solar event. The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Assoc., the state chapter of ASES, assists volunteer coordinators who organize community tours that you can attend. Tours are being held in 13 communities on Saturday, Oct. 6 (unless otherwise noted): Caro, Chelsea, Clarkston, Commerce Twp, Detroit, Holland, Lansing, Linden, Fowlerville (Oct 6 & 7), Riverdale, Saline, Traverse City, and Ypsilanti (Oct 7). You can find specifics at www.glrea.org.
Traverse City has become the first city in Michigan to commit to using 100% renewable energy community-wide. Traverse City Light & Power (TCL&P) board has approved a commitment to obtain 100% of the utility’s power generation from renewable sources by 2040. Traverse City had previously committed to powering all city buildings with renewable energy by 2020. Other Michigan municipalities, including Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and Meridian Township, have made similar commitments to powering their municipal operations with clean energy, but TCL&P broke new ground by expanding the commitment to include converting its entire customer base to renewable energy. More details.
Michigan ranked the highest in the Midwest with 122,264 clean energy jobs as reported in the new Clean Jobs Midwest report. As of the end of 2017, the Midwest’s clean energy economy employs more than 714,000 people. Energy efficiency leads all clean energy sectors, employing 513,695 in the region and over 84,000 jobs in Michigan. In the region, renewable energy comes in second with 83,127 jobs followed by advanced transportation (79,470), advanced grid (30,104) and clean fuels (7,861). More details.
Power Home Solar is investing $1.5 million with the Detroit Lions over 3 years, including a sponsorship deal and panel costs. The work comes as the solar power system provider expands its metro Detroit operations, with a new call center planned for Birmingham or Troy. Power Home Solar approached the Lions through its preexisting partnership with Lions punter Sam Martin, a supporter of renewable energy. The company will sponsor a Power Home Solar Lions pregame show, display advertisements in the stadium, and have an outdoor pregame booth. The panels in Allen Park sit atop an equipment shed by the goal and were installed in June. The Ford Field panels on top of the attached parking garage were installed the second week of July. More details.
DTE and Consumers Energy have proposed a combined $20.5 million investment in electric vehicle infrastructure. A key aspect to their three-year plans is incentivizing EV drivers to charge at home during off-peak hours at night. DTE’s $13 million pilot program requires customers who use a rebate for a charging station to enroll in a “time of use” program, which offers the lowest rates between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. In filings with the MPSC, DTE says each EV customer will drive down fixed system costs by about $2,800 over a 10-year period. Most of the programs’ costs are for rebates on chargers installed at homes, workplaces and public sites. Rebate amounts vary, ranging from $500 for a residential charger to $70,000 for a fast-charging station through Consumers. For public chargers, third parties would own and operate charging stations and have several options for recouping costs, such as an hourly fee. More details.
First PACE project in Ingham County has been closed. Lean & Green Michigan was contacted by 515 Ionia LLC who initiated the idea of conducting a gut rehab and complete rehabilitation project of two blighted buildings near the state Capitol. The new office/retail space will include electric vehicle charger, solar panels, boiler upgrade, and more. Check out the case study.
CHP Roadmap for Michigan has been issued by the Michigan Energy Office. Michigan is home to 88 Combined Heat & Power systems with an installed capacity of 3,500 MW. The CHP Roadmap identifies additional CHP in Michigan for commercial and industrial customers between 722 and 2,360 MW. The report considered projects to be viable if the payback period was 10 years or less for the public and institutional sectors and less than 4 years for the private sector.
Vineyard Wind project will cost $74/MWH in the first year and then increase 2.5% each subsequent year of the 20-year deal. Many were surprised by the prices disclosed in filings by Massachusetts utilities. A report issued this March by Moody’s Investors Service about the promise of offshore wind in the NE said prices could fall to $80/MWH in “the longer term.” The report noted, the country’s only operating offshore wind farm, Block Island in Rhode Island, was selling power for $244/MWH and two projects being built in Maryland had contracts to sell power for $132.
Small Greek Island of Tilos will become the first in the Mediterranean to run exclusively on wind and solar power. The island has a winter population of 400. But that swells to 3,000 people in the summer, putting a strain on its dilapidated power supply. This summer, technicians are conducting the final tests on a renewable replacement system that will be fully rolled out later this year. It will allow Tilos to run exclusively on high-tech batteries recharged by an 800 kW wind turbine and a solar park. More details.
Peer-to-Peer Platform that uses Blockchain technology makes it possible for residents at Evermore apartments (see photo above) in W. Australia to trade energy generated by their solar panels and stored in their batteries. The 24-unit housing complex was one of the first in Australia to incorporate solar+storage. It’s estimated that the 53.6 kW solar system and 150 kW battery system will offset about 80% of the apartments’ power needs and save residents 30% on their electricity bills. More details.
Supersized Solar Farms are happening around the world. The world’s largest solar farm, 5 million PV panels, is now taking shape in southern Egypt. When it’s completed next year, the $4 billion Benban solar park will generate up to 1.8 GW. The largest solar farm in the U.S. is the 580 MW Solar Star farm near LA. China is planning to build a 2 GW solar farm and India recently gave the go-ahead for a 5 GW facility. Japan is even talking about putting solar in space. Japan’s space agency, JAXA, is working to put into orbit a 1 GW solar farm that can generate power 24 hours a day. Starting in the 2030s, the solar space station would beam down energy as microwaves to a human-made island covered with billions of antennas. More details.
Solarize Meridian Workshop will be held on Sept. 12, 7:00-8:00 pm, at Edgewood United Church, 469 N Hagadorn Rd, East Lansing. Local solar owners will share their experiences and you can learn how solar works, cost savings, net metering, financing, tax credits, selecting a solar contractor, and more. No cost to attend and all are welcome.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Ride-and-Drive Event will be hosted by the Michigan Energy Office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, in Lansing. Sponsored by Midwest EVOLVE and Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities, the event will feature test drives of several plug-in EV models. Attendees are encouraged to get their EV questions answered from owners as well. The event will take place at Michigan Agency for Energy, 7109 W. Saginaw, Lansing.
Solar Celebrations are being hosted by Vote Solar, GLREA, and MISUN. Come join us to hear from Michigan businesses, homeowners, churches and others who already benefit from solar. Enjoy snacks, see the solar installation, ask questions, and discuss how we can work together to expand solar access in Michigan. Find events near you…
September 16 | Residence of Art Toy, Lawrence, Michigan
September 18 | Electrical Industry Training Center, Warren, Michigan
September 20 | Arcadia Brewery, Kalamazoo, Michigan
September 30 | Haslett Community Church, Haslett, Michigan
October 2 | Dow Diamond (home to the Great Lakes Loons!) – Midland, Michigan
October 11 | West Bloomfield High School, West Bloomfield, Michigan
October 14: Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, St Joesph, Michigan
Solarize Meridian Workshop will be held on Saturday, Oct. 6, 8:30-10:45 am at the Meridian Township Hall, 5151 Marsh Rd., Okemos. Networking, coffee & bagels will go from 8:30-9:00 followed by presentations about Meridian Township’s new 20 kW ground mount system, Haslett Community Church’s 20 kW rooftop system, and a local business system. From 10:00-10:15 there will be a tour of the Township PV system and from 10:30-10:45 there will be a tour of the HCC system.
Second Annual Sustainable Detroit Forum will be held on Oct 24th , 9am-4pm at the Wayne State Student Center. The day will include a series of presentations on Detroit-based projects, keynote speakers, vendor displays, and plenty of time to meet with friends and colleagues. Tickets will include a light breakfast, lunch, and drink tickets for the afterglow. Tickets will be on sale shortly – RSVP Here.
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.