GLREA Annual Meeting will be Sat., Dec. 7

Great Lakes Energy News

November 2019

GLREA Annual Meeting will be held at the Lansing Brewery on Saturday, Dec. 7, 9:30-4:00. We will have speakers and panel sessions to talk about the latest developments in renewable energy as well as giving GLREA members an opportunity to network and share your thoughts. Tom Stanton, National Regulatory Research Institute, will talk about national developments and Sarah Mills, UM Ford School of Public Policy, will discuss community engagement in rural areas. A diverse panel will provide updates on solar energy in Michigan.  The meeting will also include GLREA updates, awards, and board election. More details and registration
Solar Home Tour was held in communities across Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 5 and 324 persons attended one or more solar installations to ask their neighbors about solar energy systems.
2nd Annual “Best Photo Contest” is being held, with winners to be announced at the Dec. 7 GLREA annual meeting After receiving more than 70 entries for our 2018 photo contest, GLREA again encourages you to email us photos of your renewable energy system or event taken in 2019.  We are collecting them to show on a continuous loop at our annual meeting.  To send your photo for display at the annual meeting, just email it to  If you want to enter the photo contest, email and request the contest guidelines.  All photos must be received by December 1st.
Michigan News
Powering Michigan Forward legislative package has been introduced to correct issues with the distributed generation program and ensure that residents and businesses continue to have access to on-site renewable energy. House Bill 5145/Senate Bill 597 eliminates the 1% cap on the amount of distributed generation in a utility service territory. House Bill 5144/Senate Bill 598 rolls back the new distributed generation tariff. House Bill 5143/Senate Bill 596 requires the MPSC to establish a tariff that fairly values distributed solar based on the full costs and benefits to the grid. More details
MI Power Grid initiative, jointly launched by Gov. Whitmer and the MPSC, is expected to better prepare Michigan for the shift from large centralized coal plants to distributed renewable resources like wind and solar and emerging technology like battery storage. The initiative includes facilitated discussion and educational sessions for stakeholders and individual workgroups will have specific plans with milestones. PSC staff will submit a status report on Sept. 30, 2020, regarding actions to date, workgroup status updates, and initial recommendations.  A final PSC staff report is expected in middle to late 2021.  More details   MPSC order
Ann Arbor has partnered with a UM student group on a solar installation at Fire Station 6. (see photo above).  Under sunny skies on Oct. 18, students and other community volunteers worked alongside city-hired contractor Harvest Solar to finish installing 142 panels on the station’s roof. The 52.5 kW system will provide close to 100% of the fire station’s electricity. The students raised $3,295 to put toward the $74,000 city project.  The city has a goal of powering 100% of its municipal operations with clean and renewable energy by 2035.  More details
Consumers Energy and Sunverge are testing battery storage capabilities in a residential pilot project that could help customers cut costs, limit time without electricity during outages, and reduce grid problems.  During the summer, the company began installing batteries in 50 homes in Caledonia, a suburb of Grand Rapids. The battery storage system is about 3-feet wide, 6-feet tall and 2-feet deep. The pilot will help Consumers understand the different values that batteries could provide to the overall grid, such as potential investment deferral, resiliency and reliability, while also providing backup of critical loads for pilot participants.  More details
Pablo Davis Elder Living Center in Southwest Detroit just got a new roof that includes a 154 kW solar array.  The project was part of a larger renovation subsidized by low-income housing tax credits that includes energy efficiency and general facility improvements.  More details
Ford Motor Company’s campus in Dearborn will undergo a massive renovation project that will incorporate a 4 MW solar array, geothermal heating and cooling, Thermal Energy Storage, and water saving technologies such as rainwater capture. The goal is to achieve a net zero waste, net zero energy, net zero water facility, and to attain certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED process.  In addition, construction of a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant will boost efficiency and lower emissions. More details
TCF Center, formerly Cobo Hall, is now Michigan’s largest green building. It was awarded a LEED Gold Certification on Oct. 4 for efforts that include a green roof, energy efficiency and waste diversion. In 2015, a $279 million renovation included energy-saving HVAC equipment, water-saving fixtures and a green roof. A Smart Buildings Detroit Energy Conservation grant funded $9.9 million for insulation, computerized mechanical and lighting controls, induction lighting in exhibit halls, enclosed loading docks and energy efficient escalators. More details
Beyond Michigan
Target has set a target to have 25% of its 1,855 stores powered by renewable energy by the end of the year, with the ultimate goal being to have all of its stores go green. Target has already installed solar panels on 500 of its stores. Target has ranked #1 in on-site solar capacity for 3 years in a row according to the SEIA. Walmart has set a long-term goal of using 100% renewable energy and plans to have 50% of its operations be powered by renewable energy by 2025 through a combination of on-site installations and green power purchases. More details
GE Renewable Energy has received its second order for the Haliade-X, a 12 MW turbine that reaches about 850 feet. The first order came from Ørsted which says it will use the turbines in 2 U.S. projects: Ocean Wind (1,100 MW) off of New Jersey and Skipjack (120 MW) off of Maryland.  The second big order is from the Dogger Bank projects, (3,600 MW) a series of 3 wind farms in UK waters of the North Sea.  GE is trying to establish a foothold in an offshore wind turbine market dominated by Siemens Gamesa and MHI Vestas. More details

American-Made Solar Prize Round 2 includes John Barrie’ Solar 20 Project.  Check out the video.

Orlando’s Electric Utility will be developing a hydrogen system for generating electricity and will more than double its solar power. The Orlando Utility Commission’s solar expansion would entail two sites of 74.5 MW each and be used to power an electrolyzer to extract hydrogen and oxygen from water.  General Motors will install a fuel cell that will use the hydrogen to produce electricity.  The hydrogen system is being financed by several partners, including the U.S. Department of Energy with a $4 million grant, for a total investment of cash, material and time of $9 million. More details
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) on proposed changes to PURPA rules, the policy framework for independent power producers. The comment period ends Dec. 3.  FERC is proposing to drop the "must purchase" threshold from 20 MW to 1 MW; give states broader latitude in how and when PURPA rates are set, and set utility capacity obligations under PURPA at zero if they can show no capacity is needed. Details are available in this FERC press release.
Michigan Interfaith Power & Light’s 2019 Sustainability Conference will be held Nov. 8 at Marygrove College in Detroit. Registration is open now.
Michigan CHP Workshop and Tours hosted by the Midwest Cogeneration Assoc. will be held on Friday, November 8, 8:00-4:00 at Washtenaw Community College.  In addition to sessions on CHP, there will be tours of the CHP plants at Washtenaw Community College and Eastern Michigan.  Agenda  Register
GLREA Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Lansing Brewing.  Register at
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