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SOLAR 2019 Conference “Race to Renewables” will be August 5-9 in Minneapolis.

Great Lakes Energy News

August 2019

GLREA News
 
GLREA has been working with Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Assoc. (MEECA), Michigan Geothermal Energy Assoc (MGEA), GreenHome Institute (GHI), and USGBC to plan a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Conference that will focus on new and existing commercial buildings.  The conference will be held on September 18 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. Save the date.
 
Michigan News
 
Tremaine Phillips has been appointed by Gov. Whitmer to be the new MPSC Commissioner replacing Norm Saari. Phillips most recently was the director of the Cincinnati 2030 District where he led efforts to achieve sustainability goals for commercial and residential buildings. From 2015 to 2018, Phillips was the VP of Strategic Initiatives for Empower G&E, an energy efficiency data analytics and software firm. He has also served as the assistant deputy director of the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG) during the Granholm administration, an energy program associate with the Michigan Environmental Council, and an intern with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He holds a JD and a master’s degree from Ohio State and a bachelor’s degree from MSU.  More details.

Ann Arbor is now one of 127 cities that have committed to collectively buy upwards of 2,100 electric vehicles by the end of 2020 as part of the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative. Ann Arbor has had a plan to transform the city’s municipal fleet for several years. The city's goal is a 25% reduction in fleet-related emissions by 2025, part of its plan to power municipal operations with 100% clean and renewable energy by 2035.  The city currently has 3 electric vehicles and intends to buy at least 13 more in the coming year. More details
 
Environment America Shining Cities 2019 mentions only one city in Michigan – Ypsilanti.  Ypsilanti’s watts/capita continues to grow, currently at (1,177,555 watts / 21,076 people) 55.6 watts/capita. More details
 
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.” Cities are a significant cause of global warming and there are many strategies to minimize the harmful effects of "urban heat islands."  Doug will be lecturing, selling (40% discount) and signing the book at the downtown AADL library at 7pm on Monday, Sept 30.
 
Beyond Michigan
 
Zillow Research shows a sales premium for solar. During the past year, homes with solar systems sold for 4.1% more on average than comparable homes without solar. The sale premium varies substantially by market. In Riverside, Calif., homes with solar sold for 2.7% more than comparable homes without solar. In greater New York City metro, the premium is double that of Riverside at 5.4%.  In Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando, solar homes can fetch a premium of around 4%.  Zillow calculated the solar premium by comparing homes with and without solar systems that were sold from March 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019.  More details
 
Los Angeles Power and Water officials have struck a deal on the largest and cheapest solar + battery-storage project in the world.  The LA Board of Water and Power is expected to approve a 25-year contract that will serve 7% of the city's electricity demand at 1.997¢/kWh for solar energy and 1.3¢ for power from batteries. More details
 
Molecular Solar Thermal (MOST) system, which stores solar energy, has been applied to a clear film that could be applied to the inside of windows. Developed at Sweden's Chalmers University, the MOST film takes on an orangey-yellow color when not directly exposed to sunlight.  Once rays strike the material, much of the sunlight's solar energy is absorbed. As a result, the film turns completely colorless and reduces the need to run the air conditioning.  In the evening, the stored energy is released into the room as heat for up to 8 hours.  More details
 
Toyota has begun testing a new Prius model that uses ultra-thin solar panels to eliminate the risk of a car running out of juice. See photo above. To facilitate the public road trial, Sharp modularized its high-efficiency solar battery cells (conversion efficiency of 34%) to create an onboard solar battery panel.  Toyota has installed this panel on the roof, hood, rear hatch door, and other parts of its “Prius PHV” and was able to achieve an output of 860W, which is approximately 4.8 times higher than the commercial model Prius PHV. More details
 
2050 Target to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Zero is expected to be adopted in the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. The goal does not include either a legislative or regulatory plan. The Green New Deal has a 2030 deadline. More details
 
FirstEnergy Solutions will get a $150 million a year bailout to save its two northern Ohio nuclear power plants.  The new Ohio law will impose a fee of 85 cents/month on residential ratepayers generating about $170 million a year. $150 million a year will shore up the nuclear plants and the rest of the money will go to help 6 solar projects. The bill also included a bailout of two coal-fired plants, one in Ohio and one in Indiana, owned by a group that includes American Electric Power. Electricity customers will pay a fee up to $1.50/ month to support those plants. The legislation also guts fees consumers pay for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.  Utilities will be required to get 8.5% of their power from renewable sources by 2026 replacing a 12.5% requirement.  More details
 
Australian Solar+Storage project is one step closer to becoming a reality after getting the approval of the Northern Territory government. The proposed 10 GW solar and 20 to 30-GWH energy storage project would send power from the Australian desert to Singapore through a 2,300-mile, high-voltage direct current submarine cable. If the $20 billion project gets developed, it would meet 20% of Singapore’s power needs, while also supplying electricity to the Northern Territory capital of Darwin.  More details
 
Events
 
SOLAR 2019 Conference “Race to Renewables” will be held on August 5-9 in Minneapolis.  ASES believes that supplying 100% of America’s electricity with renewable energy is not only possible but urgently needed.  ASES represents the scientists, educators, and activists who can provide technologies and solutions for climate action that will have an impact within the next five years.  SOLAR 2019 will focus on those strategies.
 
West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will host a luncheon and program featuring Sustainability at Consumers Energy with President and Chief Executive Officer Patti Poppe on Wednesday, August 28, 12 n – 1:30 pm, at the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.  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
 
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
 
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. www.drawdownmichigan.org
 
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
 
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