The Non-Profit Group GLREA Focuses On The Development Of Renewable Energy – Anyone Can Join

Great Lakes Energy News

July 2024


Senate Committee on Energy and Environment held a hearing on two Community Solar bills (SB 152 Sen. McBroom & SB 153 Sen. Irwin) on June 13. GLREA and other supporters showed up in Lansing to speak in favor of the bills that would allow Michigan to join the 22 other states that allow residents to subscribe to offsite solar arrays and receive bill credits for the energy produced. Supporters testified that the bipartisan legislation would advance climate, environmental justice and economic development goals. Business groups, Consumers Energy, and DTE oppose the bills, arguing community solar could add costs for non-subscribers. More details

Michigan News

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) will be prohibited from banning certain energy improvements and solar energy systems under HB 5028 approved by the Senate along party lines, 20-18. The bill is now on its way to the Governor’s desk for signing. Energy-saving improvements include, but are not limited to, all of the following: clothesline, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, insulation, rain barrels, reflective roofing, energy efficient appliances, solar water heaters, electric vehicle supply equipment, energy-efficient windows, and energy-efficient insulation materials.

University of Michigan research team is collaborating with Beaver Island residents to develop a wave energy converter for the island.  Wave energy converters use the movement of water to generate electricity.  The research team will spend the next couple years developing a prototype to install in the waters off the island. More details

Detroit is using vacant land to produce clean energy. Pending approval by the City Council, Gratiot-Findlay neighborhood will see solar arrays on about 23 acres. Not far away, another eastside neighborhood is to get arrays on 41 acres, while a third will get arrays on 40 acres. Five other neighborhoods are finalists to also get solar arrays. Solar energy arrays on about 200 acres would produce enough energy to offset the electricity used by 127 municipal buildings.  More details

University of Michigan survey has found that a community’s support for new energy infrastructure varied by region and by energy type. Local officials overwhelmingly support rooftop solar in their communities. Statewide, 86% of respondents either strongly or somewhat support rooftop solar. The next most favored option was new electric transmission lines, which 60% favor. Statewide, 42% of officials are for new natural gas power plants and large-scale solar installations and 27% for large-scale wind projects. Nuclear power comes in last with just 25% supporting nuclear power and large-scale battery storage. More details

Automated Driving System for a Detroit shuttle will be implemented in a yearlong pilot program starting this summer. The shuttles, a cross between a city bus and a rideshare, run along fixed stops, but instead of the usual bus schedule, they can be summoned by app, phone number or website provided to those who take part in the program. To participate in the pilot, residents must be 65 or older or have a recognized medical disability, and live in certain neighborhoods. More details

Beyond Michigan 

REGEN Fiber hosted a grand opening at a new plant in Fairfax, Iowa that will recycle decommissioned wind turbine blades. REGEN Fiber uses a mechanical process to process up to 12 tons of material an hour. The average decommissioned blade has from 3 to 10 tons of recyclable material. When spent wind turbine blades arrive at the plant, blade pieces are loaded onto a conveyor belt where they go through a series of mills and drums that further dismantle the pieces. Studies show the fibers strengthen concrete and reduce cracking and shrinking. More details

Volkswagen is entering the energy storage market with plans to use old electric vehicle batteries to store renewable power. Volkswagen announced that its charging solutions subsidiary Elli will develop and operate large scale energy storage projects. As a first step, Volkswagen said projects rated at 350 MW with 700 MWh of storage capacity are planned – with the first one coming online in Germany as soon as next year.
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Becoming a Member of GLREA 

GLREA encourages you to become a member. Members are the backbone of the organization and provide the ability to promote renewable energy and make needed changes in Michigan. Membership Dues are $30 per year and you can deduct them from your taxes because GLREA is a non-profit organization. To become a member just go to our website, then scroll down and click on the ‘Become a GLREA Member’ button.

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