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GLREA Announces New Executive Director

At the December 3, 2016 Annual Meeting, GLREA Board President Dave Konkle of announced that John Freeman will resign from the Board of Directors and become the new Executive Director. John is an attorney and former Michigan State Representative. He served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1993 to 1998 representing Royal Oak, Madison Heights and Hazel Park. John left the Legislature because of term limits.

Since 2013, John has been working with Homeland Solar as Projects and Outreach Director to install solar energy systems for homeowners, farmers and businesses. In 2014 John was elected to the Board of Directors of GLREA. John will work with and on behalf of GLREA business and individual members to educate, promote and expand renewable energy throughout Michigan.

2017 Regional Energy Fair in Traverse City

The first Regional Energy Fair of 2017 will be held in Traverse City on June 23, 24 and 25. Called the Michigan Clean Energy Conference & Fair, the Friday afternoon session on June 23 will take place at the State Theater, 233 E. Front St and the topic will be a panel discussion on "The Future of Electric Mobility."  On Saturday, June 24, the Clean Energy Conference will be held at Northwestern Michigan College Aero Park Laboratories, 2525 Aero Park Dr.  This Conference starting at 8:00 am and running to 4:00 pm will consist of plenary speakers and break-out sessions to discuss the state of renewable energy in Michigan, the hurdles that are holding us back in Michigan from seeing the renewable energy market from dramatically expanding and the next steps in adressing these issues.  On Sunday, June 25 the GLREA Energy Fair will be held, also at Aero Park Laboratories, where solar and wind installers will share their knowledge of renewable energy with homeowners, farmers and business.

People interested in renewable energy can talk to installers about how renewable energy can save money, increase property value and promote a clean environment. All individuals, families and students are welcome to all three events. If you have any questions please contact John Freeman at Jfreeman13@comcast.net.

Michigan PSC has Begun the Process of Determining the Distributive Energy Tariff

The Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) held its first meeting of stakeholders on March 22 in Lansing to begin the yearlong process of studying and ultimately determining the amount of the so called ‘distributive energy tariff.’ The Public Service Commission was ordered to conduct this process by the Michigan State Legislature in Public Act 341 and 342 that were enacted in December 2016.

The key determination of this process is to decide whether renewable energy users are paying their fair share to maintain the ‘grid’ or network of electrical wires that distribute electricity, or not. This ‘distributive energy tariff’ is very important to the future of renewable energy in Michigan. If this tariff is set high it could undermine the economics of installing a solar or wind system. But if the benefits of solar and wind energy are appropriately valued, the tariff could be a very modest amount and it will facilitate the continued expansion of renewable in Michigan, which means more jobs will be created, less expensive electricity is generated and a cleaner environment will be developed.

GLREA will be an active participant in this PSC process and will keep you posted on developments. But if any Member would like to be added to the email distribution list that the PSC has orgnaized to send out notices and materials, just contact John Freeman at Jfreeman13@comcast.net.

GLREA New Logo

GLREA has a new logo with a sun. The sun is a good symbol for GLREA because it provides solar energy directly, but also provides wind power and bioenergy indirectly. New state energy legislation has been a focus of GLREA and many other groups for the past couple years. Sarah Mullkoff, GLREA Policy Chair, will provide an overview of the legislation on Thursday, March 16, 5:30-6:30 pm at Michigan Energy Options, 405 Grove St. in E. Lansing.