Comment on Michigan Energy Report, Check out GLOS and CrowdHydrology

Mr. Great Lakes, Jeff Kart. As heard at 9 a.m. Friday’s on Delta College Q-90.1 FM. The Environment Report for Sept. 27, 2013 …

1 – After a round of public forums that included one at Delta College, Michigan officials have released a draft report on renewable energy.

What does it say? Michigan’s current renewable standard requires electric providers to obtain 10 percent of their sales from sources like wind and solar by 2015.

Those goals are expected to be met in nearly all cases. The standard has resulted in about 1,400 megawatts of new renewable energy projects operating or currently under development in Michigan.

Consumers have paid about $675 million in surcharges to support the expansion. But due to decreases in renewable energy costs, surcharges are expected to be reduced or even eliminated for some electric providers beginning next year.

Public comment on the energy report is being sought until Oct. 16. Comment here.

The comments will be considered when the final report is written, according to officials from the Michigan Public Service Commission. That final report is due for release on Nov. 4.

Three other draft reports also are due later this year on energy efficiency, electric choice and “additional areas” related to energy policy.

2 – What can you see on the Great Lakes Observing System?

The system, called GLOS for short, now has an online data portal, that’s a clearinghouse for data.

The portal is used by officials to make better decisions about how to use, manage and restore coastal ecosystems.

It’s also available to the public. Information housed at the website includes point observations, satellite observations and model forecasts.

There are a number of stations with real-time and archived information on Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron.

For instance, you can find readings for air temperature, wave height and water temperature, wind direction and wind speed for the bay. By the way, winds were blowing at 9.4 mph on Thursday morning.

3 – A project at The State University of New York allows people to report stream stages using their smartphone. There are three study sites in the Great Lakes.

It’s called CrowdHydrology, and uses crowd sourcing from citizen scientists to gather information on local water levels.

The data can be used by anglers, to monitor spring snowmelt, teach students about the watershed they live in, and quantify groundwater and surface water exchange in streams.

CrowdHydrology is based on another network developed for identifying road kill in California.




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