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ENERGY TIDBITS – June 2009
Prepared by John Sarver (DeLEG)
Michigan Energy Fair is back again this year at the Manistee County Fairgrounds in Onekama. Last year it featured 70 workshops and over 100 exhibitors. Best opportunity in Michigan to shop for a solar or wind system, network, and learn about renewable energy. It is always a fun weekend. www.glrea.org
Net Metering & Interconnection Rules for renewable energy systems 20 kW and under have been adopted by the MPSC. The Commission approved uniform forms for 20 kW and under: net metering application, interconnection application, interconnection and parallel operating agreement, and combined application covering both net metering and interconnection. www.michigan.gov/netmetering.
President Obama has moved to regulate, for the first time, one of the world’s biggest sources of greenhouse-gas emissions: cars and trucks. US fleets will have to average 35 miles per gallon by 2016, four years faster than currently planned. The current average is 27.5 miles per gallon. The President’s plan is also designed to bring the whole country under a single standard. California and 12 other states had already attempted to set up their own regulatory standard for greenhouse-gas emissions.
Utility Energy Optimization & Renewable Energy Plans have been approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Plans can be found at the MPSC web site at http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,1607,7-159-52495_53472---,00.html
Ontario Legislature has passed the Green Energy and Green Economy Act to attract new investment, create new green jobs and protect the environment. Key elements of the legislation include: streamlined approvals for renewable energy projects; feed-in-tariff system to provide guaranteed prices for renewable energy projects; opportunities for municipalities and First Nation and Metis communities to build, own and operate their own renewable energy projects; and establishment of an academic research chair to examine potential public health effects of renewable energy projects.
Michigan Green Jobs Report makes Michigan the second state (after Washington) to release a scientific survey of green jobs. This report covers private sector jobs in Michigan’s green economy, which are defined as being in five areas: agriculture & natural resource conservation, clean transportation & fuels, energy efficiency, pollution prevention & environmental cleanup, and renewable energy. Michigan boasts 109,067 private sector green jobs: 96,767 direct jobs and 12,300 support jobs. Clean transportation and fuels is the largest area, comprising just over 40% of green jobs. From 2005 to 2008, a sample of 358 green-related firms added more than 2,500 jobs, an employment expansion rate of 7.7% -- at a time when overall Michigan private sector employment shrank 5.4%. Renewable energy in the sample had a growth rate of 30%. www.milmi.org/admin/uploadedPublications/1604_GreenReport_E.pdf
NRDC recently launched a new mapping tool called “Renewable Energy for America” that features a broad look at both existing and proposed clean energy facilities. https://www.nrdc.org/energy/renewables/default.asp
City of Grand Rapids has been named "Green Generation Customer of the Year" by Consumers Energy. Grand Rapids is the largest single participant in Consumers Energy's Green Generation program. Today's award adds to national recognition Grand Rapids has received for reaching its goal of 20% renewable energy supply. Grand Rapids is now one of the top 20 municipal purchasers of renewable energy, joining larger cities such as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Diego.
Farmers, ranchers, and other rural small businesses have until July 31, 2009 to apply for grants or loan guarantees to assist with energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP will provide funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to conduct energy audits and feasibility studies for renewable energy systems, for renewable energy development assistance, and to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/9006grant.htm
Detroit Edison has entered into a 20-year agreement with Heritage Sustainable Energy to purchase wind power and renewable energy credits. The agreement is the first signed by Detroit Edison following passage last fall of a new state law that requires Michigan’s electric utilities to provide 10% of their power from renewable resources by 2015. Heritage Sustainable Energy plans to install 7 or 8 large-scale wind turbines near Cadillac capable of producing about 15 MW. They are expected to be operational by late 2009.
Michigan Bureau of Construction Codes has reassembled an ad-hoc committee to review the State’s residential and commercial energy codes. The ad-hoc committee is made up of stakeholders throughout the state involved with building construction and energy efficiency. The committee will be making recommendations regarding the commercial energy code meeting the 2007 ASHRAE 90.1 standard, and the residential energy code meeting the 2009 IECC standard. A timeline for the ad-hoc committee’s recommendations has not been set, but it is expected that their review work will continue through the Fall of 09’. The residential energy code, 2003 Michigan Uniform Energy Code, was implemented in October of 08’ following a Circuit Court Judge’s ruling in favor of the State.
Small Wind (<100 kW) global sales grew 53% to 38.7 MW in 2008 representing 19,000 units and $156 million. US market for small wind grew 78% in 2008 with an additional 17.3 MW of installed capacity. This represents 10,500 units and $77 million in sales.
American Wind Energy Assoc. projects a 30-fold growth within five years, despite a global recession, for a cumulative US installed capacity of 1700 MW by the end of 2013. Much of this estimated growth would be spurred by the 8-year 30% federal tax credit.
US Green Building Council has released LEED regional credits as part of LEED 2009, the latest version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. LEED projects will be able to earn ‘bonus points’ for implementing green building strategies that address the environmental issues facing their region. A project can be awarded as many as four extra points, one point each for achieving up to four of the 6 priority credits.
Windtronics, a start-up manufacturer of small-scale wind turbines for commercial and residential use, will invest $4.4 million to locate a manufacturing plant in Muskegon. The project is expected to create 462 new jobs, including 219 directly by the company and an additional 243 indirect jobs. Based on the MEDC recommendation, the MEGA board approved a state tax credit valued at $3.7 million over 10 years to convince the company to choose Michigan over a competing site in Oregon. www.earthtronics.com.
9th Annual Mayor’s Green Fair will be held in downtown Ann Arbor on Friday, June 12 from 6pm-9pm. With streets closed for this free event, all are welcome to learn about clean energy, green commuting, and biking. Live music and special youth activities will also be featured.
Consumers Energy is seeking sources to supply 250 MW of capacity and 600,000 MWH’s of renewable energy annually for up to 20 years. The invitation for bids for new renewable energy projects is part of the utility's plan to increase its green power supply to 10% by 2015 to meet the requirements of Michigan's new energy law. A copy of Consumers Energy's Renewable Energy Request for Proposals can be accessed at www.consumersenergy.com. Select tabs "For Business," "Electric Power Notices," and "Request for Proposals."
Energy Tidbits is free and is prepared by John Sarver, Michigan Dept. of Energy, Labor, & Economic Growth. To subscribe, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous copies can be found at www.michigan.gov/energyoffice under Publications.