For Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 –[audio https://dl.dropbox.com/s/7ct5pzjqolmck6i/childrens-zoo-solar-mrgreatlakes-9-23-2016.mp3]
1 – The Children’s Zoo in Saginaw owns about 16 acres of vacant land next to its developed zoo site.
The Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network is funding a project to turn the land into an outdoor classroom and nature play area.
The play area will include natural features such as boulders, logs, and native plants.
A nature trail will include signs geared toward families and children, to describe natural features on the land.
Invasive species on the property will be removed.
The project is slated for 2017.
2 – The solar industry is growing 10 times faster than the national economy.
That’s due to continuing technology improvements and declining costs, according to the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council.
A recently released Michigan Public Service Commission report says net metering and solar pilot programs increased by 20 percent in 2015.
That’s on top of 25 percent growth in solar deployment in 2014 and an 18 percent growth in 2013.
The Council says there’s still room for more, since Michigan’s two largest utilities, Consumers Energy and DTE, have more than 80 percent of space left in their net metering programs.
Under Michigan’s net metering program, customers with on-site renewable energy systems like solar panels receive a credit on their bills for excess energy that’s generated and sent to the grid.
– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.