Letter: Renewable energy standard is working (From the Detroit News)

Last month, the Michigan Public Service Commission rolled out an impressive report on renewable energy in Michigan. The report found that our state is an emerging leader in the renewable energy sector, thanks in large part to our successful renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Enacted in 2008, the RPS required utility companies to generate 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

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Q&A from Corunna Town Hall on December 12, 2016

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Following are answers to a series of questions we received from audience members at the Shiawassee County community meeting held at the D'Mar Center in Corunna on December 7, 2016.  

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Wind turbine blades could be beginning of Saginaw River as a cargo port

BAY CITY, MI — When the 450-foot Happy Ranger freighter made its way into the Saginaw River on May 6, it marked the ninth vessel passage for this year's shipping season.

But the freighter's voyage that day was more than just a number. It marked the first time in a couple of years that cargo — wind turbine blades from the Netherlands slated for installation in the Thumb in the coming month — was shipped on the river.  A majority of the river's shipping traffic has traditionally been dominated by the delivery of domestic construction and housing industry bulk materials.

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Report: DTE, Consumers rank middle of pack nationally for renewable energy

Rankings show Michigan-based utilities perform better on energy efficiency

LANSING — Michigan's two largest electric utilities are generally solid performers when it comes to their energy efficiency programs, but are in the middle of the pack nationally with their use of renewable energy, a new report shows. The report from Boston-based nonprofit Ceres, released Tuesday, ranked 30 of the nation's largest investor-owned utilities on renewable and efficiency performance. DTE Energy Co. and CMS Energy ranked in or near the top 10 for their single-year energy efficiency savings, but fell in the rankings compared to other utilities for their use of renewable power sources.

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AWEA: How does wind help the family farm stay in the family?

We know that wind power is a powerful, renewable energy source. Did you know that wind farms also help landowners keep their farms in the family by providing revenue and royalties from the power provided? Each year, American landowners receive $222 million in lease payments alone. Wind is a drought-resistant crop that is reliable and not subject to fluctuating crop prices. 

Greg Alvarez of the American Wind Energy Association went on a tour through Colorado looking for the community impacts of wind power. During his trip, he met Jason Wilson of Calhan, Colorado, whose family almost had to give up its 76-year-old farm because it wasn't financially profitable anymore. Wilson said, "The wind farm allowed us to be able to keep our family farm. The wind farm balanced the financial viability with the sentimental value, allowing the family farm to be passed on to the next generation."

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U.S. Wind Farms Invested $128 Billion into U.S. Economy Over Past 10 Years

That's right, $128 billion! Not to mention an average of $13 billion per year for the past five years alone. The American Wind Energy Assocation (AWEA) released the data last week.

Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said, "Over this time, wind has rapidly scaled up. There's now enough wind power installed to reliably produce electricity for over 19 million American homes."

There were more records broken last year by wind energy, including capacity installed.

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Tell Your Representative: Vote NO On Destructive Energy Legislation!

The Michigan House of Representatives is about to vote on a new energy law which would dramatically decrease support for clean energy. We need you to tell your State Representative, vote NO on House Bills 4297-4298!

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See Turbine Construction from Beginning to End

MidAmerican Energy posted this informative and cool video that shows a turbine being constructed from beginning to end. The video includes interesting facts about the individual parts of the turbine (such as the nacelle being the size of a school bus!) and how long it takes to assemble.
Check out the video below!

MidAmerican Turbine Construction

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How Wind Turbines Work

Have you ever wondered how a wind turbine works? Save On Energy posted an animated graphic that shows every step of how a turbine works. Check out the cool picture below! 

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Department of Energy Releases New Wind Vision

You can find the full report here.

The DOE’s new Wind Vision Report explores our nation’s potential to increase its energy production from wind power. According to the report, America’s wind power capacity has tripled since the 2008 release of the Energy Department’s 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report, making it more clear than ever that it will be possible for the U.S. to generate a significant portion of its power from land-based, offshore and distributed wind facilities by 2030.

The report outlines numerous benefits the U.S. will receive from increasing our domestic production of wind energy, including reduced pollution, increased domestic employment, consumer cost savings, water conservation, nationwide availability, and increased community revenues.

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