Michigan’s Largest Wind Park Is Spinning, Jack Pine Planting and Green Schools Growing

For Friday, April 21, 2023


1 – Michigan’s largest wind park is in Midland and Saginaw counties. 

Meridian Wind Park, Merrill, Michigan. Credit: DTE Energy

DTE Energy announced this week that the park, called Meridian Wind, is now operational. 

It spans three townships and can generate up to 225 megawatts of energy using 77 wind turbines, or enough to power more than 78,000 homes.

DTE says in a news release that it managed all aspects of the $300 million development, from land acquisition and permitting through construction. The utility says it will assume responsibility for the project’s ongoing operations and maintenance.  

With the commissioning of Meridian Wind, DTE now has 20 wind parks.

These projects, along with 33 solar parks, generate enough energy to power more than 750,000 homes and represent an investment of more than $3 billion.

DTE plans to add about 1,000 megawatts of new renewable energy each year starting in 2025 as part of a CleanVision Integrated Resource Plan filed with regulators.

The company proposes adding another 15,000 megawatts of clean energy by 2042, or enough to power more than 4 million homes.

2 – Help is needed to plant jack pines to provide nesting sites for the Kirtland’s warbler. 

The rare bird nests on the ground under young jack pine trees. The songbird was removed from the endangered species list in 2019 but conservation efforts are ongoing. 

The jack pine planting will take place on the morning of Saturday, May 6, in Grayling Township. 

Partners and volunteers from the Kirtland Warbler’s Alliance are organizing along with Huron Pines, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

About 4,500 trees are due to be planted on three acres at a site six miles southeast of the city of Grayling. 

Registrations are being handled by Michigan United Conservation Clubs. See MUCC.org

3 – Michigan’s Green Schools program is growing. 

This is the second year that Michigan’s environmental agency has operated the program, which was previously run by a nonprofit. 

A total of 196 schools received recognition in 2022, according to the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. 

This year, the number has grown by more than 100 to a total of 306 schools, including Alcona Elementary School in Harrisville, North Huron School in the Thumb and St. Lorenz Lutheran School in Frankenmuth. 

Under the Michigan Green Schools program, schools may qualify for various levels of recognition by earning points for environmental educational activities. in categories including recycling, energy and environmental protection. 

A network of more than 30 county volunteer coordinators assist with the program. Organizers say they’re looking for coordinators in Bay and Saginaw counties. 

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Fridays at 9:30 a.m. in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen live). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes


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