Newsletter: Wind development boosts property values

This newsletter was originally published on April 12, 2017.

As Counties turn to Wind Power, Property Values go up









A wind farm near Pigeon, Michigan in Huron County. (Photo by eXtension Farm Energy via Creative Commons) – Midwest Energy News

A Bridge Magazine report last month revealed that, across Michigan, agricultural land was the only type of property that saw an overall increase in value since the Great Recession in 2008. Areas that have had significant investment in wind energy development such as Gratiot County and Michigan’s “Thumb” region have also had some of the greatest property value increases, according to the analysis. While the jury is still out on causation, this is seen as another piece of evidence that advanced energy benefits local economies in more ways than one.

“It’s phenomenal — this very starkly shows what we’ve been trying to say about wind’s impact,” said Liesl Eichler Clark, president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council.

Eichler Clark is researching wind development’s impact on overall community tax revenues along with her colleagues at 5 Lakes Energy, where she is also a partner. 5 Lakes Energy has been tracking tax revenue from wind development in multiple communities across Michigan and has found that “the counties that host the largest number of turbines by far — by far — have the largest increase in total taxable value of property in their jurisdictions,” said Stanley “Skip” Pruss, a senior fellow at 5 Lakes Energy.

This research is intended to paint a broader picture than Bridge Magazine’s analysis, which focuses solely on property value without including other taxable features on the property in question, said Pruss.
Evidence supporting 5 Lakes Energy’s stance comes from Sarah Mills, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan’s Center for Local, State and Urban Policy. Mills surveyed farmers in the Thumb to get a better understanding of wind’s impact on Michigan farmers.

In 2014, lease payments to Michigan landowners for wind turbines totaled $4.6 million, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Mills found that farmers with wind turbines on their property invested double the amount of money in their farms in the last five years as their neighbors without turbines.
Mills explained, “That was making the case that, first of all, money given to landowners who host turbines on their properties are reinvesting in the community.”

Michigan Capitol Switching to Geothermal









Plans are moving ahead to revamp the heating and cooling system for the Michigan Capitol Building, including converting the Capitol to a geothermal system. The project, which is projected to cost $62.5 million, will increase the Capitol’s efficiency, and is projected to save taxpayers in future years.

Michigan would join two other states – Oklahoma and Colorado – to have their capitol buildings run on geothermal systems. In order to convert the Capitol to geothermal, hundreds of pipes will be put under ground on the south and west parts of the Capitol extracting heat from the earth and transferring it to the building through a central system. The same equipment will be used for cooling.

Time Is Running Out To Register for MiEIBC’s 5th Annual Member Meeting

Michigan EIBC’s 5th Annual Member Meeting is right around the corner. Get your tickets today to attend the conference on Wednesday, April 26, at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. The Annual Member Meeting provides attendees with an opportunity to network, learn about innovations in advanced energy, and get an overview on the latest policy developments.

We’ve got an exciting line-up of speakers, including:

  • Valerie Brader, Executive Director, Michigan Agency for Energy
  • Brian Pageau, President, Midwest Energy Group
  • Trevor Lauer, President and COO, DTE Electric
  • Chairman Sally Talberg, MPSC
  • Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids
  • Mayor Jim Carruthers, Traverse City
  • Representative Gary Glenn, 98th District, Chair of the House Energy Committee
  • Representative Sam Singh, 69th District, House Democratic Leader
  • Rob Threlkeld, Global Manager – Renewable Energy, General Motors
  • Peter Rienks, Senior Account Executive, Inovateus Solar
  • Teri VanSumeren, Executive Director of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Consumers Energy
  • Commissioner Norm Saari, MPSC
  • Steve Bratic, Managing Director, Bratic Enterprises
  • Dave Simon, Senior Director, toggled
  • Paul Brown, Lead Energy Advisor, CLEAResult
  • Commissioner Rachael Eubanks, MPSC
  • Glenn Stevens, Executive Director, MICHauto
  • Kevin Miller, Director of Public Policy, ChargePoint
  • Eric Shreffler, Managing Director – Automotive Programs, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Ed Straub, Technical Program Director, The American Center for Mobility
  • Andy Haun, CTO of Microgrids, Schneider Electric
  • Dalia El Tawy, Senior Marketing and Business Development Manager, Siemens
  • Kiran Kumaraswamy, Director of Market Development, AES Energy Storage
  • Dave Harwood, Director of Renewable Energy, DTE
  • Patrick Bowland, CEO and General Manager, Michigan Public Power Agency
  • Zach Anderson, VP of Power Supply, Wolverine Power Supply
  • Simon Whitelocke, President, ITC Michigan
  • Kevin O’Connell, Electric Power Commercial Business Manager, Michigan CAT
  • Katie Guerry, VP of Regulatory Affairs, EnerNOC
  • Pat Poli, Executive Advisor, MPSC
  • Greg Northrup, Principal, Sustainable Partners LLC

Panelists from the following companies and organizations have also been confirmed:

  • American Center for Mobility
  • Bratic Enterprises
  • ChargePoint
  • DTE Energy
  • EnerNOC
  • GM
  • ITC
  • Michigan CAT
  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Michigan Public Power Agency
  • Michigan Public Service Commission
  • Schneider Electric
  • Sustainable Partners, LLC (Spart)
  • toggled
  • Wolverine Power Cooperative

This year’s panel topics include:

  • Building the Market: Corporate Advanced Energy Procurement
  • Energy, Mobility, and the Future of Transportation
  • Driving Innovation and Efficiency through Advanced Lighting
  • Distribution Solutions to Improve Grid Resiliency
  • Selling Projects under the New RPS: New Markets, New Challenges
  • From Energy Optimization to Energy Waste Reduction: The Role of CHP, Demand Response, and Load Management in the New Efficiency Landscape

Time is running out to register. Click here to RSVP today!

The 5th Annual Member Meeting is being sponsored by:

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact Nicole Forward if you would like to sponsor or have questions.

Renewing Members:

Dyson has acquired 100% of solid-state battery pioneer Sakti3. Together they will supercharge research and development into the new battery platform, to engineer breakthroughs in performance for future Dyson technologies. U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated Sakti3 in 2015 at the White House for its technology development. Sakti3, a Workplace Excellence Awardee (2016), has been recognized with IHS CERAWeek’s Energy Innovation Pioneer Award (2014), by MIT’s Technology Review Magazine as one of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies (2012) and World’s Top Ten, representing the “energy” category (2011). The senior team has over 100 years’ collective experience in research, manufacturing, and leadership. The company is a spinout of the University of Michigan, where its founding team created laboratories, published over 100 papers on batteries and related mathematics and physics, and demonstrated its first early prototypes. Financed by Khosla Ventures, Dyson, General Motors Ventures, Beringea and Itochu Technology Ventures, the company has been recognized for its innovative approaches in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Scientific American, Inc., Time, Automotive Engineering, the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR and other media.

Michigan Energy News:

National Energy News:

Michigan Energy Events:

The 2017 Michigan Battle of the Buildings Energy Summit is taking place Wednesday, April 19 at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids. The event includes a plenary address by Michigan Agency for Energy Director Valerie Brader, an awards presentation, panel discussions, and more.
The Michigan Public Service Commission’s Distributed Generation Workgroup will meet again on April 19 at the Public Service Commission office. Stay tuned for more details!

Michigan EIBC’s 5th Annual Member Meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 26 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. This annual event brings together leaders in Michigan’s advanced energy industry, utility executives, policymakers, regulators, and others. This year’s Annual Member Meeting will feature discussions on grid modernization and infrastructure, corporate procurement of advanced energy, and how energy, IT, and transportation are converging to create the new mobility industry, among many others. Registration is open now, and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

The Michigan Geothermal Energy Association is hosting its 2017 annual meeting on April 26-27 at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mt. Pleasant. Trevor Lauer, president and chief operating officer of DTE Electric, will speak at the dinner on April 26. More information is available by contacting Larry Kaufman by email or at 248-396-8231.

The 2017 Energy Efficiency Conference and Exhibition, hosted by DTE Energy and the Engineering Society of Detroit, will take place May 9 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The conference is now accepting proposals for presentations on topics related to energy efficiency.

The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council invites you to attend our upcoming Michigan Energy Forum networking meeting and tour at Covanta Kent on May 10 in Grand Rapids. This energy-from-waste facility has been in operation for approximately 27 years. Attendees will watch a brief overview video created by Kent County about the waste system, followed by a tour of the facility, including stops at the tipping floor/refuse pit and the control room. Environmental Specialist Terry Madden will conduct the tour along with Business Manager Matt Marler. RSVP here.

TRC is hosting a two-day conference on Developing Solar on Landfills and Brownfields on June 12-13 in Chicago. The event brings together landowners, who will learn about how to turn their brownfield liabilities into clean energy assets, while solar developers will learn how to choose and develop on brownfields.

National Energy Events:

The Energy Storage Association’s 27th Annual Conference and Expo is taking place April 18-20 in Denver. This event brings together leaders in the global energy industry working at the nexus of policy, technology and markets for energy storage.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s annual Future of Energy Summit will take place April 24-25 in New York. This annual event brings together traditional players and advanced energy leaders to discuss the critical energy issues of today and the next decade.

The annual AWEA Windpower Conference is taking place May 22-25 in Anaheim, CA. The marquee event for the US wind industry returns with top-tier speakers, world-class education, cutting edge technology, and premium marketing.

Greentech Media’s Grid Edge World Forum 2017 will be held in San Jose, CA on June 27-29. As the only conference exclusively focused on emerging distributed energy system, this event highlights the trends, opportunities, and innovation happening at the grid edge.

Additional Resources:

Applications are open until April 18 for NextEnergy I-Corps Energy and Transportation business programs. Participating teams have a chance to attend the national I-Corps program, where they work through the business model and receive a $50,000 grant.

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant cycle is open to agricultural producers and rural small businesses, awarding grants for renewable energy projects in rural communities and agricultural areas. Grants can be used for the purchase, installation, and construction of a Renewable Energy System or Energy Efficiency Improvement. REAP Grants provide a 25% cash reimbursement of the total system costs, with a maximum grant of $500,000 for Renewable Energy Systems and $250,000 for Energy Efficiency Improvements. Applications for projects with Total Project Costs of $80,000 or less are now closed. Applications for projects with Total Project Costs greater than $80,000 are accepted through Monday, May 1, 2017. The Application Templates and Forms are available at USDA Rural Development Offices or online.

The U.S. Department of Energy is offering A Guide to Federal Finance Facilities Available for Energy Efficiency Upgrades and Clean Energy Deployment. The downloadable guide provides information about the various federal financing programs available for energy efficiency and renewable energy — making it easier for state, local and tribal leaders, along with their partners in the private sector, to find capital for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The Department of Energy offers free public access to accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts or published scientific journal articles from projects funded by the DOE within 12 months of publication.

The Michigan Energy Office (MEO), in partnership with the States of Tennessee, Georgia, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, the National Association of State Energy Officials, and The Climate Registry, is inviting interested parties to comment on the developing National Energy Efficiency Registry (NEER) Principles & Operating Rules, which are open for public comment until May 31, 2017.  Information on the NEER can be found at, as well as a FAQ document and description of sample NEER user scenarios. The NEER is intended to serve as a central repository for tracking and validating energy efficiency initiatives and as a means for documenting compliance with existing and future state and federal environmental regulations . The public comment period provides Michigan stakeholders the opportunity to inform NEER’s development to ensure Michigan interests are represented. How to Submit Comments: Reviewers are encouraged to access and provide feedback on the Draft NEER Principles and Operating Rules by logging into the web-based Collaborase platform or offline here.  For commenters who prefer to submit comments directly, a public comment template has also been provided here. Please submit comments either in Collaborase or by attaching your completed public comment template via email to Emily Duff.