Sunday, April 25, 2010


Earth Day Breezes into Detroit Metro Airport


The first of six Windspire Energy wind turbines to be installed at Detroit Metro Airport
Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA) marked today’s celebration of Earth Day 2010 with the debut of its recent $75,000 investment in exploring the feasibility of putting Detroit Metro Airport’s (DTW) wind to work supplementing the Airport’s power supply.
Members of the media joined Airport Authority staff and partners today to view several of the six wind turbines being installed this week at DTW and to discuss the testing planned for the new technology at the Airport over the coming months. These state-of-the-art turbines, manufactured entirely in Michigan for Windspire Energy, represent the latest technology available to harness wind energy at lower wind speeds (4.5-5 mph). Windspire’s unique design is also ideal for the airport environment, where airspace is heavily regulated and traditional wind turbines are more difficult to install and operate.
Following installation of the turbines this week, WCAA and local Windspire distributor Southern Exposure Renewable Energy Co. will begin an intensive beta-testing process during which the performance of this new technology will be measured and evaluated to determine the practicality of further implementing it both at DTW and in other, similar environments worldwide.
The new turbines represent just the latest investment in the Airport Authority’s ongoing effort to explore and implement sustainable operational practices–including the use of alternative energy sources to reduce our environmental impact and offset the airport’s carbon footprint. For eight of the past nine snow seasons, DTW has been the leader in aircraft de-icing fluid recycling among airports worldwide. Recently, the Airport Authority and its logistics contractor launched a new program to transform used cooking oil from airport concessions into biofuels to power airport service vehicles. DTW has also spent nearly $1.15 million on more than 5,000 new, LED fixtures for its taxiway edge lights, which save the Authority thousands of dollars in energy costs per year compared to the incandescent fixtures they replaced.
The Authority’s Environmental and Infrastructure groups are currently evaluating a number of additional environmental initiatives including installation cutting-edge technologies involving solar/photovoltaic energy, green roofs and gray-water recycling.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Windspire News!

Gov. Jennifer Granholm addresses the Michigan Wind Energy Conference April 21

Posted: Wednesday, 21 April 2010 10:43AM

Granholm Touts Offshore Wind Power, Turbine Manufacturing

Well over 300 people packed the Michgian Wind Energy Conference Tuesday and Wednesday at Detroit's Cobo Center to hear keynotes and panel discussion on the growth of clean, renewable wind power in the state.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm was the Wednesday keynoter, saying Michigan wants to lead the wind industry in manufacturing of wind turbine hubs and blades -- not just in generating electricity from Great Lakes breezes though that's important too.

"Michigan is going to be the place that solves the problems," Granholm said. "That's what we have done in the past for the auto industry and others, and it's what we're going to do for the clean energy industry as well ... We are positioned to make this happen. Announcements are coming on a daily basis now. We know that offshore wind requires the largest of turbines, and we intend to make those turbines here in Michigan and ship them elsewhere."

Granholm mentioned an Eaton Rapids company, Dowding, now dooing business as Astraeus Energy, that has figured out a way to manufacture a complete wind turbine hub in four hours, vs. more than 20 hours for the current industry standard.

She mentioned several other companies that have received federal stimulus grants to retool automotive production for renewable energy use. And she said Dow Chemical Co. is working with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to make low-cost carbon fiber for wind turbine blades.

Granholm also mentioned Michigan's huge untapped offshore wind resources, with favored sites in southwest Michigan off Berrien County, in the Saginaw Bay area and in southern Lake Huron, and in northern Lake Michigan off the southern coast of the Upper Peninsula. She said care would be taken to avoid conflict with marine wildlife, tourism and shipping.

Granholm also said more Michigan manufacturers would soon be eligible for federal stimulus grants to retool for renewables production.

"Despite the challenges we have been through as a state, and you can't wave a magic wand and have it happen overnight, but we have laid the foundation for a strong economy" in renewables, Granholm said.

The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, Michigan's largest nonprofit renewable energy association, sponsored the two-day event. They gave Granholm a renewable energy leadership award that they said would be named after Granholm in the years going forward.

GLREA president Howard Edelson said Michigan is now home to more than 100 companies in the wind energy sector, and that number continues to grow.

Edelson praised Granholm for helping to attract more than $2 billion in solar energy investment in the state since 2008 and 12,500 solar energy jobs. He also said a Granholm executive order has reduced state government energy use 23 percent, saving $60 million.

More about the state's renewables efforts at

Following Granholm's speech, Detroit Edison president Steven Kurmas spoke on the utility's renewable energy efforts, including more wind power to comply with a state mandate of 10 percent renewables by 2015.

Kurman initially misspoke and said the standard required 15 percent renewables, and then corrected himself and joked thathe "wouldn't mind" seeing that mandate boosted to 15 percent, drawing laughs and a smattering of applause -- as well as a joke from GLREA officials that there would soon be a Google alert on the news.

Later, Orjiakor Isiogu, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission, spoke of the state's manufacturing expertise as a key to growth in renewables. He spoke of the "Windspire experience," the decision of Nevada-based Mariah Power to begin building its Windspire vertical-axis wind turbines at the Manistee plant of Sterling Heights-based MasTech.

"We know how to build things and build them well," Isiogu said. "We are seeing the beginnings of a wind revolution here in Michgian. It's not just large wind farms. Small wind is increasingly important in our Great Lakes state."

© MMX WWJ Radio, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another Variation on Our Theme!

Home windmills spin debate

Cities are imposing restrictions, bans



Most talk on windmills in Michigan is about the giant ones going up on farms and off shore.

But small wind turbines de signed for urban homes, small businesses and schools — which cost $15,000 to $30,000 — are generating debate in some Detroit suburbs.

Facing requests from homeowners, Royal Oak enact ed a zoning ordinance last year to regulate home-based wind turbines, with Birmingham and Novi soon to do so.

“We’ve had some people ve ry eager to see this come, and a small number want them on their houses” to feed electrici ty into their homes, Birming ham Planning Board chairman Robin Boyle said.

This week, the board voted 7-0 to ban wind turbines in res idential areas, restricting them to commercial districts
 and to areas of mixed-use zon ing where condos coexist with shops. The ban could get final approval April 26 by the City Commission.

Among the concerns? The injury risk of turbines spinning near people, the threat of tow ers being residential eyesores and the quality-of-life fear of flicker — the distraction of sunlight flashing off moving blades, like a strobe light that belongs in a nightclub.

“If technology changes,
 we’ll revisit this and see wheth er they can be more compati ble with residential zoning,” said Boyle, who is also chair man of urban studies and plan ning at Wayne State Universi ty.

Royal Oak’s ordinance, passed last year, is less restric tive, allowing wind turbines at twice the maximum permitted height for homes — about 60 feet — and up to 100 feet in oth er zoning districts, city plan ner Doug Hedges said. No resi dents have applied for a per mit, Hedges said.

Novi’s new ordinance might get final approval in May, Com munity Relations Director Sheryl Walsh said.

“If this goes through, it does allow for wind turbines in resi dential areas,” but the City Council likely will impose lim its, Walsh said.

A single, $20,000 wind tur bine could power a small home, “but you need an average wind all the time of at least 14 m.p.h.,” which in Michigan puts ideal sites at high eleva tions or along lake shores, said
 Donna Napolitano, co-owner of Mechanical Energy Systems in Canton.

Turbines in southeast Michigan can work in tandem with solar power to provide much of a home’s electricity, Napolitano said.

Schools are exempt from most local zoning, and some have installed turbines for en ergy

A 60-foot tower with a sin gle spinning blade was in stalled in 2001 at Seaholm High School in Birmingham. And a 30-foot Windspire — made in Manistee — is to have a ribbon cutting Tuesday at the Bir mingham Covington School in Bloomfield Hills, school offi cials said.

Oakland Schools Technical Campus in Clarkston is to have a $35,000 system of wind and solar installed in May, accord ing to Oak Electric contractors in Waterford.

Also getting turbines, as soon as this fall, are Cass Tech High School in Detroit, the Al len Park school district and Woodhaven-Brownstown pub lic schools, paid for by grants from a statewide surcharge on utility bills, said Emile Lauzza na, project director of Energy Works Michigan.

Lauzzana is to speak Wednesday at the Michigan Wind Energy Conference at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Conference was informative on ALL THINGS GREEN!

A presentation at Wednesday's All Things Green event in Warren.

Macomb Chamber Hosts Energy Summit

The Macomb County Chamber hosted well over 100 people and a dozen exhibitors Wednesday at an "All Things Green" conference.

The event featured success stories on green technologies, case studies, educational opportunities, technological sessions, opportunities for entrepreneurship, funding opportunities and more.

GLITR Editor Matt Roush hosted a legislative panel featuring State Sen. Dennis Olshove, State Reps. Harold Haugh and Lesia Liss and Macomb County Commissioner Toni Moceri.

They said the state's partisan logjam remains a barrier to further renewable energy development, but freshman Reps. Haugh and Liss expressed optimism that the logjam may be breaking. Olshove also said the state must be careful to use only proven technologies in planning its energy future.

Case studies came from electric-hybrid powertrain developer ALTe LLC, LaFontaine Automotive Group, Meadowlark Builders, the Whitmore Lake schools and more.

Officials of the Engineering Society of Detroit also spoke on their work identifying opportunities in the green (renewables) and blue (water-based) economies in Michigan.

Justin Sutton of the Interstate Traveler LLC also presented his far-reaching proposal to use interstate highway rights-of-way for a solar-powered, hydrogen-burning train system, and Justin Palm of Macomb Township-based LumaSmart presented his company's LED lighting.