[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

when your community is targeted

Get weekly updates

RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Stripe

Donate via Paypal

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Renewable developers fear Michigan campaign will create political wedge 

Credit:  Andy Balaskovitz | May 14, 2018 | energynews.us ~~

A ballot campaign to double Michigan’s renewable standard risks re-politicizing the industry and causing project siting issues, some developers worry.

Some renewable energy developers worry a Michigan ballot campaign could hurt the industry by reigniting a political debate around renewable energy.

Organizers are collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would double Michigan’s renewable portfolio standard to 30 percent by 2020.

At least two out-of-state developers, as well as a Michigan trade group representing advanced energy companies, are neutral on the proposal because of the potential to re-politicize the industry and create siting issues as utilities comply.

“I’m worried this is going to make renewable energy a political issue again, and provide a political wedge with Democrats on one side and Republicans on the other side,” said Steve Caminati, senior manager for strategic engagement with Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy.

The political concerns come as more Michigan conservatives are expressing support for clean energy, though many also oppose raising the renewable energy standard.

At a recent energy conference in Lansing, Caminati and others raised concerns, too, about how the mandate could complicate project siting. “It’s going to be increasingly difficult to site projects around the state,” said Dave Shiflett, a project manager with Minnesota-based Geronimo Energy.

The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council is also neutral on the proposal, as it was for a failed 2012 constitutional amendment that would have increased the state’s RPS to 25 percent by 2025. The group’s president said members fall on both sides of the issue, with many supportive but others more worried about political and siting issues.

“The industry has seen a lot of market opportunities due to decreasing costs and technology. I think they’re keeping their heads down and deploying through that path,” Liesl Eichler Clark said.

In 2016, Michigan lawmakers agreed to increase the state’s original 10 percent RPS to 15 percent by 2021. The Clean Energy, Healthy Michigan initiative would incrementally increase Michigan’s RPS to 18 percent by 2022 and 3 percent every two years after that. Utilities would not be able to charge the average residential customer more than $2 per month to recover costs.

Campaign manager John Freeman says the campaign is on track to gather the required 252,523 signatures by the end of May. The signatures would need to be certified by the state before the question appears on November ballots.

Freeman said policies promoting the industry should be bipartisan, and that out-of-state developers may be wary of “jumping into the fray” if they are seeking new business in Michigan. “What’s important is why they are coming to Michigan: Investing in renewable energy is a way of saving money and it’s a great economic development tool,” Freeman said.

When the campaign was announced in February, the plan brought swift opposition from the state’s two largest utilities, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy.

DTE Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson recently told Daily Energy Insider the utility “has been in discussions” with initiative supporters to see if there is a “more constructive way to proceed” rather than a potentially high-powered political campaign. Anderson reportedly said he is “hopeful that it will resolve itself.”

DTE and Consumers did not provide more information for this story about those meetings or what the companies hope to achieve. Each provided statements saying the companies are already investing in renewables and reducing carbon emissions, and that Michigan’s 2016 energy laws will lead to more renewable energy development.

Freeman, who is also executive director of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, confirmed that the group has talked with utilities, but “nothing has been resolved. We’re doing our thing, utilities are more than welcome to talk to us.”

He declined to give more details about the discussions. The plan remains to let voters decide the issue, Freeman said.

“We’re just talking back and forth about how we can achieve more renewable energy in Michigan,” Freeman said of the discussions.

Source:  Andy Balaskovitz | May 14, 2018 | energynews.us

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Contributions
   Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)
Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky