Solar Home Tour coming Oct. 5l

Great Lakes Energy News

September 2019

Reaching for Net Zero Commercial Buildings in Michigan will focus on new and existing commercial buildings and be held on September 18, 8:30-5:00 at the Jam Handy (see photo), 2900 E Grand Blvd. in Detroit.  The conference is being hosted by Detroit 2030 District, GLREA, Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Assoc., Michigan Geothermal Energy Assoc., and GreenHome Institute. Attendees will hear from the team that partnered on the IBEW Local 58 ZNE project, and that project model will be used to plan for how the historic Jam Handy building could become ZNE. Other sessions will cover how a variety of building types can become ZNE. More details
GLREA has a new web site.  Check it out at
Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors hosted a workshop on "Valuing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Homes" on July 31st.  Dave Konkle, GLREA, talked about solar energy and Amanda Godward, Ecotelligent Homes, talked about energy efficiency and how these features add value to homes at the time of sale.  There is a video that lasts a little over an hour. 
Michigan News
Consumers Energy and independent power producers have filed a proposed settlement with the MPSC hoping to resolve a more than year-long dispute with solar developers looking to sell power to Consumers. The utility has more than 3,500 MW of solar projects in the interconnection queue. Multiple developers have challenged the amount Consumers is required to pay them under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA). Under the 1978 law, utilities are required to purchase power from independent producers at the “avoided cost.” The settlement is supported by the Solar Energy Industries Assoc. and Cypress Creek Renewables which had withheld support of Consumers’ proposed Clean Energy Plan.  The proposed agreement says Consumers will interconnect 584 MW of solar by Sept. 1, 2023. The utility aims to connect 150 MW of third-party power a year. More details
Gov. Whitmer’s administration is planning solar power installations to create Michigan’s first “green” prison (St. Louis Correctional Facility), state park (Seven Lakes State Park), and fish hatchery (Oden State Fish Hatchery).  A broad sustainability effort features renewable energy pilots, energy audits, and efforts to reduce building energy use across state government.  Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order in Feb. committing the state to advancing the goals of the International Paris Agreement, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% by 2025. More details
Detroit City Council has unanimously passed an ordinance aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 30% in the next 5 years.  The city will base its reduction efforts on emission levels from 2012 (10.6 million tons of carbon dioxide). The ordinance sets a goal to reduce yearly emissions to 7.4 million tons by 2025.  Emissions from city buildings in 2012 accounted for 1.18 million tons of carbon dioxide. The ordinance sets a benchmark for that number to be cut 35% by 2024; 75% by 2034; and 100% by 2050. More details
Sally Talberg, MPSC chairwoman, outlined a Michigan Statewide Energy Assessment Report to a joint committee of House and Senate energy committee members. MPSC made recommendations to take steps to ensure Michigan’s energy is reliable including: Undertake long-term, risk-based, integrated natural gas maintenance and infrastructure planning.   Better integrate 5-year distribution and transmission plans as part of utility integrated resource plans. Work with stakeholders to understand the value of resource supply diversity. Improve customer demand response programs. More details
Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) has entered into an agreement with Chandler Solar Project, a joint venture between affiliates of Orion Renewable Energy Group and MAP Energy, for the purchase of solar energy that will be generated by a new 125 MW facility in Escanaba Township.  When added to the output from the company’s existing hydroelectric resources, the solar project increases the amount of renewable energy being delivered to UPPCO’s customers to more than 50% by the end of 2022.  More details
Jolt Energy Storage Technologies has received a $200,000 grant from U.S. DOE to advance utility-scale energy storage.  The Jolt technology is a flow battery stack and control system that regulates materials stored in external tanks that are passed through electrochemical cells. The organic materials used in the process are being developed at the MSU Bioeconomy Institute in Holland.  A pilot installation is expected in late 2020.
More details
Beyond Michigan
U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has voted unanimously to advance a broad bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes funding for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is working to bring it before the full Senate this fall.  S. 2302, the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act, earmarks $1 billion in funding for competitive grants to support the development of fueling infrastructure for electric, natural gas and hydrogen-powered vehicles. The bill also directs federal agencies to transition their vehicle fleets to hybrid-electric, electric and alternative fuels. More details
Clean Peak Standard (CPS) in Massachusetts would make it the first state in the nation to implement a CPS. CPS attempts to incentivize clean energy technologies that serve the peak.  It does so by sending a market signal to deliver clean energy when electricity use is highest on the grid.  The program also provides incentives for reducing demand when electricity use peaks. Massachusetts expects to finalize the regulations in early 2020.  More details
Wind Energy Prices remain competitive according to a report prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. With prices averaging below 2 cents/kWh for newly built projects, wind is competitive with other generation sources ­particularly in the central U.S. The average 2018 capacity factor among projects built from 2014 through 2017 was 42%, compared to 31% among projects built from 2004 to 2011, and 24% among projects built from 1998 to 2001.  More details
Most Profitable part of the booming U.S. solar industry isn’t panels. Two inverter companies reported their highest revenue ever in the second quarter, propelling their shares to record levels. Israel-based SolarEdge and Calif.-based Enphase supplied 89% of the total U.S. market for module-level inverters last year.  China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and Sungrow Power Supply Co. dominate the global market. More details
Battery Show’s North America 2019 conference on Sept. 12 to 19 in Novi will feature exhibitors and speakers covering all stages of the advanced battery supply chain. 
More details
National Drive Electric Week is Sept. 14-22.  Find an event near you.
Reaching for Net Zero Commercial Buildings in Michigan will focus on new and existing commercial buildings and be held on September 18, 8:30-5:00 at the Jam Handy, 2900 E Grand Blvd. in Detroit.  Attendees will hear from the team that partnered on the IBEW Local 58 ZNE project, and that project model will be used to plan for how the historic Jam Handy building could become ZNE. Other sessions will cover how a variety of building types can become ZNE. More details
Dexter Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring an event to foster enthusiasm for EVs and solar at the Encore Theatre on September 19th. From 7:30-10:30 pm, it will feature a panel sharing their experiences and discussion. EV rides will be arranged beforehand.
Community Solar – “Like” webinar, hosted by Michigan Energy Options, will be held on Sept. 19, 10:00-10:45 am. Marta Tomic, Vote Solar’s Community Solar Program Director, will offer insights into a few community solar – “like” models from around the country.  Registration
Douglas Kelbaugh, Professor and Dean Emeritus at UM's Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, has recently published “The Urban Fix: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation.” Doug will be lecturing and selling (40% discount) and signing the book at the downtown AADL library at 7pm on Tuesday, Sept 24.  Note this is a date change.
Rise Up & Drawdown Conference, dedicated to finding climate change solutions, will be held at Devos Place in Grand Rapids on Sept. 25, 8:30-5:00. The term drawdown is defined as the point in time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline. Paul Hawken, a world-renowned environmentalist, entrepreneur, activist, and author of the bestseller “Drawdown,” will be the keynote speaker.
Solar Home Tour will be held in communities across Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 5.  Soon go to for addresses, times, and other specifics.
3rd Annual Sustainable Detroit Forum will be held on Oct. 23, 9:00 am-5:00 pm at Cobo Hall.  Join hundreds of people coming together to learn about Detroit-based projects rooted in sustainability.  More details
GLREA Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Lansing Brewing.  Save the date.
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