Michigan Land Use Institute

Clean Energy / News & Views

News & Views

Related Media

Clean Energy RSS 


Straits Pipeline Critics Ready Their Clipboards for Big Bridge Walk

August 27, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Members of citizen groups from around the state will be in Mackinaw City on Labor Day, but they won’t be on vacation. Instead, they will be at the south end of the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk, collecting signatures for a letter aimed at the most prominent of the event’s predicted 50,000 striders, Gov. Rick Snyder.

Easy Loan Brings Clean Energy to Prominent Southfield Building

PACE | August 25, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Ari Kresch, CEO of 1-800-LAW-FIRM, likes to brag that his Southfield company is the first in the country to use its phone number as its actual name. Perhaps more significantly, though, he may be the first attorney in the country to use an innovative, new financing mechanism called PACE, which stands for property assessed clean energy, to make major, money-saving, clean-energy upgrades to his building....

‘Energy Freedom’ Bills: Time to Unlock Homemade Power in Michigan

Clean Energy | July 29, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

A bipartisan group of state representatives has introduced four bills, known as the Energy Freedom package that would allow Michiganders to invest more in solar, wind, or methane-powered generation; reap a better return; and share credit for the electricity they produce. Different combinations of 12 Democrats and five Republicans are sponsoring different parts of the package, marking a shift in the Michigan Legislature. ...

Special Report: Putting Solar Power to Work in Michigan

Solar power | July 25, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Michigan is far behind other states in generating solar power. But it’s hardly a cloud-cover problem: After all, solar is soaring in states no sunnier than ours. What Michigan has is a solar policy problem. A “solar work group,” composed of MPSC staff, utility representatives, and solar business advocates, is working to find next steps for the utilities’ fledging solar initiatives. MLUI is part of the group, and is reporting on these meetings—which might create a significant, even historic turning point for the rise of solar power in Michigan....

DTE and Consumers: Time to Let the Sun Shine In

Solar power | July 23, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

What if a profitable monopoly with an unshakable grip on its customers refused all pleas to establish a program that, cost free, would create lots of good jobs in Michigan and aid the rise of a crucial global industry here? That’s Michigan’s situation, thanks to DTE Energy and Consumers Energy’s regrettable reluctance to renew and expand their rooftop solar programs....

No Consensus on Pay Rates for Rooftop Solar Electricity

Solar power | July 23, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Four months of meetings have failed to produce an agreement among state regulators, solar energy advocates, and the state’s top two utilities about expanding the companies’ highly popular customer-owned rooftop solar programs....

Groups Ramp Up Campaign to Raise Awareness of Pipeline Risk in Great Lakes

Pipeline | July 23, 2014 | By MLUI

More than a dozen allied environmental groups launched a new website and TV commercial outlining the environmental and economic threats posed by two aging oil pipelines crossing through the Great Lakes at the Mackinac Straits. The website, OilandWaterDontMix.org, features the new commercial and details the danger posed by the daily flow of nearly 23 million gallons of oil through pipelines lying on the bottom of the Straits just west of the Mackinac Bridge....

Ric Evans, Efficiency Pro, Seeks Reelection to GLE Board

Great Lakes Energy | July 9, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

When Ric Evans won a Board of Directors seat at Great Lakes Energy three years ago, it marked the first time a pro-renewables candidate joined the co-op’s board. Now he's seeking re-election. We asked him about his initial stint as a GLE board member, the lessons he’s learned, and what he would focus on in another term. ...

MLUI joins groups to urge action on pipeline

Pipeline | July 2, 2014 | By MLUI

The Michigan Land Use Institute is pleased to sign on to this letter to remind the governor and attorney general of the important legal authority they hold on behalf of Michigan's citizens to protect our public trust in the Great Lakes. The State of Michigan retains full legal authority over all activities that occur in the waters and bottomlands of the Great Lakes—and requires complete transparency, disclosure, and accountability from Enbridge regarding the pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac. ...

Little reassurance at symposium on Straits pipeline

Oil and Water Don't Mix | June 30, 2014 | By Jim Lively

On June 24, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council hosted the Northern Michigan Pipeline Symposium in Petoskey, bringing together state and national groups involved—or concerned—about the aging oil pipelines running through the Mackinac Straits. The event provided a forum for regulators and Enbridge, the company that owns the pipeline, to reassure the public about the threat of a spill. Unfortunately, most people left just as concerned about the risk as when they arrived. ...

Charlie Weaver Angling for GLE Board

Great Lakes Energy | June 26, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Charlie Weaver, who was once a special education teacher and now guides anglers down the Manistee and Au Sable rivers in northwest Lower Michigan, is pursuing a new career. This resident of the Manistee River Valley in Kalkaska County’s Bear Lake Township is campaigning for a seat on the Great Lakes Energy Board of Directors....

Michigan Energy Fair: Still Hot after All These Years

Clean Energy | June 23, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Energy—how it’s made and how it’s used—affects everyone, particularly with rising fuel costs and growing environmental concerns. So understanding and doing something about it is appealing, particularly if it also involves fun. That’s why Michigan Energy Fair officials are confident that there will be a good turnout at the Ingham County Fair Grounds, near Mason, this Friday and Saturday for their 10th annual event....

MPSC Releases Draft Report on Solar Working Group

Solar power | June 14, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Solar advocates and staff from Michigan’s two largest utilities are mulling over a draft report that suggests ways the state could start catching up with the nation’s accelerating, jobs-rich boom in roof-top solar energy without raising customers’ rates significantly, if at all. Michigan Public Service Commission officials released the draft, which summarizes the work of the agency’s Solar Working Group, to group members on June 10 for their technical comments....

As Sun Sets on Solar Work Group, State to Suggest Next Steps

Solar Work Group | June 4, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

All the slide shows and presentations are handed in; advocates and opponents have made and rested their cases; and the state’s Solar Working Group has had its last meeting on the future of sun power in Michigan. Now it’s the Michigan Public Service Commission’s turn. MPSC staff have until June 10 to sort through piles of data and then draft a report suggesting ways the state’s top two utilities could help more customers install rooftop solar systems....

Introducing intern Rebecca Fisher

MLUI News | June 2, 2014 | By Rebecca Fisher

My name is Rebecca Fisher and I am going to be spending the summer here in Traverse City interning for the Michigan Land Use Institute. I’m originally from the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, and I’m a rising sophomore at Haverford College, located just outside of the city. I’m studying Political Science with a concentration in Peace, Justice and Human Rights....

National Rooftop Solar Foe to Address Work Group

Solar Work Group | May 20, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

The SWG holds its last information-gathering meeting May 20 before the state issues a draft report in June that could recommend new ways to develop more customer-owned, rooftop solar power in Michigan. The meeting might be contentious: It features a presentation by the Edison Electric Institute, a national utility trade group that sees rooftop solar as an existential threat to their clients’ monopolies, and helps lead a multi-state attack on the technology....

Green Elk Rapids Days

Environment | May 5, 2014 | By MLUI

Green Elk Rapids is a community based organization in Northern Michigan that aims to spread awareness of all things "green."...

Grand Traverse County adopts PACE resolution

PACE | May 1, 2014 | By MLUI

Grand Traverse County is now one of just seven counties and two cities in Michigan to adopt the local ordinance, known as Property Assessed Clean Energy. PACE allows local governments to place private business efficiency loans on local tax rolls, collect repayment via special assessments on property tax bills, and foreclose on properties that default....

Solar Owners Rate Michigan’s Net Metering, Utility Pilots

Solar | April 16, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

As work group meetings continue, interviews with solar panel owners confirmed that they are glad they built their systems, but have suggestions for improving the utilities’ solar pilots and the state’s net metering rules....

Solar Installers Sound Off on DTE, Consumers Programs

Solar power | April 8, 2014 | By Jim Dulzo

Five years ago, when DTE Energy and Consumers Energy launched small pilot programs offering premium rates to customers for power from their solar panels, Oak Electric and Four Elements Energy became very busy installing solar systems on homes and small businesses. But, in 2012, the roof fell in for rooftop solar in Michigan, when the utilities significantly changed their pilots. That happened, installers said, because DTE’s Solar Currents and Consumers’ Experimental Advanced Renewables Program (EARP) drastically cut their rates for new participants, citing sharply falling solar panel prices....

Search Archives

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
e comments@mlui.org