Newsletter: Wind Equals Economic Opportunity in Michigan

This newsletter was originally published on July 7, 2017.


What industry hires veterans at a rate 50% higher than the national average, boasts the fastest growing job category in the nation, and is expanding in Michigan? If you guessed wind energy, you’re right.

In a recent Advanced Energy Perspectives blog post, Michigan EIBC President Liesl Clark discusses the economic and community benefits of wind energy, and debunks some of the common myths surrounding turbines.

Clark explains that, since 2008, the price of wind has fallen 61%, to the point that, even without the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), wind is approximately equal to natural gas in price, and cheaper than coal or nuclear. And, Clark explains, building the lowest cost generation source makes sense, especially when that resource is also secure and clean.

Across the nation, wind has driven down energy costs because it is a fuel-free energy source. And without the factor of variable fuel prices, risk decreases significantly.

In addition to being the lowest-cost generation source and helping to keep rates in check, wind offers additional benefits to Michigan communities. Clark highlights several benefits in the blog:

  • Wind is best sited where there is a good wind resource and communities that are interested in building some security for the future. Michigan has plenty of wind, and plenty of communities like these, many of them in rural areas.
  • Tax payments and assessments from wind development are used for road improvements, schools, health care, public safety, and infrastructure projects. This results in tens of millions of dollars directed to rural counties and communities that need funding – in fact, the four counties with the most wind farms received $23.3 million in 2014 and $22.3 million in 2015. The only counties in Michigan not cutting services during the recent recession were those with wind power income.
  • Wind development boosts property values. This map, from Bridge Magazine, shows that wind developments in Michigan improve property values. Wind installations also create a revenue stream that helps the next generation of farmers stay on the land.

Source: Bridge Magazine.

Energy consumers in Michigan and across the country are demanding renewable energy, and cities are demanding greater reliance on advanced energy sources.  

Wind is on the move in Michigan, Clark concludes, along with other advanced energy technologies and services. That’s good news for the advanced energy industry – and for the Michigan economy. 



The Green Panel, Inc. is a full service – design/furnish/install – solar supplier. We cover all locations in the State of Michigan and work with residential, commercial, industrial, educational, religious and governmental clients. Our office and warehouse is in Brighton, MI. Installation crews are W-2 employees and fully covered under our liability insurance. We have certified climbers and all employees are safety trained. We also have a fleet of trucks/trailers for delivery of equipment/supplies. We strive for 100% customer satisfaction and the best product/price/performance solutions.











  • Ohio lawmakers removed provisions in a budget bill that would have eased restrictive zoning setbacks for wind turbines and allowed utilities to seek rate increases solely to improve their credit rating.











The Energy Alliance Group of Michigan is hosting a program entitled “PACE in West Michigan – Making Building Efficiency Upgrades Affordable” on July 12 in Grand Rapids. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is now available in the City of Wyoming, and is under consideration in the cities of Grand Rapids, Walker, Grandville, East Grand Rapids and Kentwood. This event will provide information detailing how to use this new financing option for upgrading the energy efficiency of commercial, industrial, multi-family and non-profit buildings. For more information or to RSVP, click here

On Thursday, July 13, MPSC Staff is hosting a meeting to discuss how to implement the new provisions of Public Act 342 of 2016 with respect to Section 11 (a) ““Renewable energy” means electricity or steam generated using a renewable energy system”; Section 11 (g)(ii) “Solar and solar thermal energy”; and Section 11 (g)(vi) “Thermal energy produced from a geothermal heat pump.”  To participate, use the following information:

  • Location: MPSC Offices at 7109 Saginaw, Lansing, MI 48917, in the Lake Michigan Hearing Room
  • Date and Time: July 13, 2017 – 1:30-3:00 P.M.
  • Call in: (888) 808-6929 – Access Code: 918-6690
  • Webinar: https:/// – Access Code: 918-6690

The 2017 PlugVolt Battery Seminar is scheduled for July 18-20 in Ann Arbor. Industry leaders, policy decision-makers, and key stakeholders from more than 80 companies are expected to gather at the PlugVolt Battery Seminar to learn more about the challengers and opportunities for energy storage systems in grid/utility storage and automotive applications. Register here.

The MPSC will be holding its first Performance Based Regulation (PBR) stakeholders discussion meeting on July 24th from 2:00-5:00 pm at the Lake Michigan Hearing room at the MPSC office at 7109 W. Saginaw, Lansing, MI 48917.  Section 6u of PA 341 directs the Commission to complete a study of PBR and submit it to the Governor and Legislators by April 20, 2018.  The legislative language references collaboration with stakeholders for this study.  The MPSC is requesting input from Michigan utilities as well as other interested parties regarding PBR. Please RSVP to

The MPSC will host a technical conference on the future of electric vehicle charging on August 9 at the public service commission office, 7109 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing. Subject matter experts interested in participating in a panel are asked to submit a letter of interest, resume and summary of expertise to Al Freeman at the commission offices or by e-mail to

SAVE THE DATE: The Powering Mobility conference will take place on September 25 at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. The event, which is the 4th Annual Michigan Energy Future Conference, will bring together leaders from industry, government, utilities, finance, and academe working at the nexus of advanced mobility and vehicle electrification. 

The 1st Annual Sustainable Detroit Forum is scheduled for October 25. The event will consist of interactive learning, keynotes, and short presentations. Proposals for presentations will be accepted for Sustainable ProjectsPersonal Green Stories, and Lessons Learned/Greatest Failures. Proposals are due July 14.



Intersolar North America, the most attended solar exhibition in North America, will take place July 11-13 in San Francisco. Since its founding, Intersolar has become a key industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers, and partners of the solar energy.
The National Energy Conference for Educators is July 16-20 in Milwaukee. This event brings together educators that are passionate about bringing energy education to their classrooms. In five interactive days in Milwaukee, the conference provides teachers with the most up-to-date information on all aspects of energy including the science of energy, sources of energy, transportation, electricity, efficiency and environmental and economic impacts. For more information or to register, see the NEED website.
The 2017 National Energy Codes Conference is July 17-20 in Pittsburgh. This event is the only national conference dedicated solely to energy codes. The theme this year is “Bridges to the Future.” The conference will focus on achieving compliance but sessions will also cover development, adoption, policy, tools and research. For more information, see the Department of Energy website.
Energy Storage North America will take place August 8-10 in San Diego. As the largest conference and expo for grid-connected energy storage in North America, Energy Storage North America brings together utilities, regulators, municipal leaders, project developers, investors, systems integrators, and commercial and industrial customers for top-tier networking and information sharing.

Solar Power International will take place September 10-13 in Las Vegas. Powered by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Smart Electric Power Alliance, SPI is the largest and fastest growing solar show in North America.

Renewable Energy Grid Operations: Integration, Forecasting, Modeling, Planning and Curtailment, hosted by EUCI, is scheduled for September 11-12 in Austin, Texas. This conference will evaluate the biggest challenges to renewable energy integration, and identify solutions and pathways that coordinate responses and overcome these challenges. Case studies from experts and industry professionals from around the country will share their experiences and lessons learned on renewable integration. Register here.



A web site from the Michigan Public Service Commission provides details on the laws, which took effect on April 20. For more information, or to sign up for notifications, visit

The presentations from last week’s Michigan CHP conference can now be viewed online.

Google’s free online tool, Project Sunroof, now shows which homes have already installed rooftop solar panels.
World Resources Institute recently published an Implementation Guide for Utilities, outlining best practices in designing renewable energy projects to meet large energy customers needs. 
The Michigan Energy Office is offering rebates to eligible applicants to upgrade existing public streetlights with LED lights through the Exterior LED Lighting Rebate Program. The purpose of this program is to encourage energy waste reduction and promote community vitality by accelerating the transition to energy efficient LED lighting. MEO will match utility rebates up to $0.35/W reduced. Applicants with no utility rebate will be awarded at a rate of $0.35/W reduced. For more information or to apply, click here.