For Aug. 8, 2014
1 – More people are generating their own power in Michigan.
The latest annual net metering and solar pilot program report from the Michigan Public Service Commission shows an 18 percent increase in the program’s size compared to 2012.
Under a net metering program, customers receive a credit when they produce electric energy in excess of their needs.
Since 2008, net metering has increased by almost 1,500 customers.
In 2013, the number of net metering customers increased by almost 200, going from 1,330 to 1,527.
Solar was the most popular, with 221 customer installations totaling 1,674 kilowatts in 2013. Some customers have multiple installations.
The state’s two largest utilities — Consumers Energy and DTE Electric — host 83 percent of the total net metering program capacity in Michigan, according to the PSC.
2 – The night sky is worth watching.
One of the biggest and most-visible astronomical events of the year is happening this month.
It’s the Perseid meteor shower.
Some state parks in Michigan are staying open late and hosting “Meteors and S’Mores” events from Aug. 9-16 in honor of this natural light show.
Many of the events include astronomy presentations — along with chocolate, marshmellows and graham crackers.
Parks that are hosting meteor shower gatherings include the Rifle River Recreation Area in Ogemaw County, at 10 p.m. on Aug. 12; and North Higgins Lake State Park in Crawford County, at 9 p.m. on Aug. 12.
On Saturday, Aug. 16, Hartwick Pines State Park in Crawford County will host an event at 8 p.m.
More information is available online at michigan.gov/GoGetOutdoors.
3 – Speaking of the outdoors, the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy is putting kids in nature.
Kids in Nature events are planned for the Discovery Preserve at Euclid Park in coming months.
All the events are at the park in Bay City, and open to the public. But you’re asked to register in advance at sblc-mi.org.
There’s a butterfly walk on Tuesday, Aug. 19, from 2-4 p.m.
On Sept. 16, there’s a twilight hike from 6-8 p.m.
On Nov. 16, you can bring the kids to look for Mammal Tracks from 2-4 p.m.
The tours, again, will be at the Discovery Preserve at Euclid Park, formerly known as Euclid Linear Park, at 1701 S. Euclid Avenue in Bay City.
— Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.