Comments on Michigan Air Contaminants, Updates on Renewable Energy

For Feb. 17, 2017

1 – All of Michigan’s electric providers met or exceeded the 10 percent renewable energy standard in 2015.

Michigan’s new renewable standard will increase to 12.5 percent in 2019 and 2020 and 15 percent in 2021.

A Michigan Public Service Commission annual report says meeting the 2015 standard can be credited with the development of more than 1,670 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy projects.

The average price of existing renewable energy contracts also is considerably less than was forecast in initial renewable energy plans.

The report notes that wind energy has been the primary source of new renewable energy in Michigan and about $3.3 billion has been invested to bring new renewable energy projects online through 2016.

The average cost per megawatt hour for renewable energy also has been substantially lower than the cost of a new coal-fired plant.

2 – The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is taking comments through April 14 for more than 1,200 health-based screening levels used in its Permit to Install Air Permitting Program.

The public comment period is the result of rule revisions that took effect in December and require all screening levels and their origins be posted for public review with comments accepted for 60 days.

The state’s air program aims to protect public health by regulating toxic chemicals in industrial air emissions.

michigan tree snow wind

Credit: GollyGforce

Under the new rules, the emission of a toxic air contaminant cannot result in a maximum ambient air concentration that exceeds a health-based screening level.

Previously, memos describing the reasons behind screening levels were only available upon request. Now they’re open for review and public comment through April 14.

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– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9:30 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR. Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

New Markets for Old Tires, and Completion of the Thumb Loop

For Friday, May 22, 2015

. . .

1 – Scrap tires are good for more than breeding mosquitoes.

scrap tires

Credit: Scott.Symonds

The state Department of Environmental Quality has awarded $2.8 million in grants to help develop new markets for old tires.

The grants cover three types of projects.

The first type involves using rubber-modified asphalt in construction and repairs to improve existing Michigan roadways.

The second involves research to find new and better ways to incorporate scrap tire rubber into asphalt and concrete to improve the material’s performance.

The third involves equipment to create commodities from scrap tires and increase existing product generation. Examples of existing products include floor tiles and footwear.

Grants to local governments included $150,000 for roads in Bay County, and $85,000 in roads for the city of Saginaw.

 

2 – The Thumb Loop is done.

thumb loop michigan complete itc

The Thumb Loop transmission project consists of 789 steel monopoles and 32 steel lattice towers and 1,680 miles of wires. Credit: ITC

ITCTransmission of Novi says the third and final phase of its Thumb Loop high-voltage transmission project is complete.

ITC invested more than $500 million to build the 345,000-volt line, which serves as the backbone of a system designed to meet the identified maximum wind energy potential of Michigan’s Thumb region.

The company say the improvements allow for an increase in transmission system capacity and reliability, and the more efficient transmission of renewable energy.

The project was completed early, and had been slated to be finished by the end of the year.

During the construction phase of the Thumb Loop, ITC estimates the project had a direct impact of $366 million to the Michigan economy, including employment of local contractors, vendors and suppliers.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.

Follow @jeffkart on Twitter

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