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GLREA Annual Meeting in Ann Arbor on December 3, 2016

The GLREA Annual Meeting, held in Ann Arbor on December 3, brought together about 80 members and friends to learn about the latest developments in renewable energy and to visit with each other. Larry Ward, Executive Director of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, talked about his organization and our common organizational interests in expanding renewable energy. Thomas Lyon, Professor at the University of Michigan and the Dow Chair of Sustainable Science, Technology and Policy, talked about University of Michigan’s sustainability efforts. Cary Church, Dave Konkle, Melanie McCoy, and John Sarver were elected to new three-year terms on the Board of Directors.

John Freeman was introduced as the new GLREA Executive Director. John is a lawyer and former State Representative from 1993 to 1998, representing Royal Oak, Madison Heights and Hazel Park before leaving because of term limits. Since 2013, John has been working with Homeland Solar and in 2014 was elected to the GLREA Board of Directors.

Annual awards were also presented at the meeting. The Jennifer Granholm Leadership Award went to Rep. Jeff Irwin for his ‘Energy Freedom’ bill legislative efforts. The Exemplary Project Award went to Craig Toepfer for his PV & EV Charging Project. Appreciation awards were given to Mary McGraw for her many years of service to GLREA and to Mark Clevey for his success in starting and organizing the Ann Arbor Solar Users Network. The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded posthumously to Jim Carter, our past GLREA president, who passed away in June.

GLREA 2016 Solar Home Tour

On Saturday October 1, 2016, GLREA organized and participated in the 21st National Solar Home Tour sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, the Michigan State Chapter of ASES, assisted volunteer coordinators to organize tours of homes with solar energy systems for members of the public to examine and learn. This year Solar Tours, were held in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Detroit, Greater Flint, Saginaw, Ypsilanti and Southwest Michigan while the eighth city Lansing held a virtual tour of solar homes.

Many thanks to our 2016 Solar Tour Sponsors: Oak Electric, Homeland Solar, Global Solar Energy Solutions, Solar King, Inovateus and Solar Winds Power Systems.

Next year's Solar Home Tour day will be on October 7, 2017. Our goal is to increase the number of cities that have a Solar Tour. Plan for it!

2016 Michigan Energy Fair

The 2016 Michigan Energy Fair was held on June 24 & 25 in Mason, Michigan. It was dedicated to Jim Carter, the GLREA President who died unexpectedly before the Fair. The sunny weather made for a great Fair experience for the many who came to the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason. Workshops were held on renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable living. There were hands on activities for kids, rides available in electric vehicles and over 70 exhibitors. Dr. David DeYoe, President of Bio-Trend Systems, was the keynote speaker on Friday and spoke on how communities and companies can implement strategies to capture the benefits of a green economy through the innovative use of renewable resources. Jack Lessenberry, writer and political commentator, was the keynote speaker on Saturday and spoke about the energy legislation pending in Lansing and actions that need to be taken to reform the political process.