information on everything biomass — forest resources, habitat &
environment, state & national energy topics.
Win a prize for
Michigan Biomass is giving away prizes to celebrate
National Bioenergy Day, which is Oct. 19. CLICK HERE to enter to win a cell
phone charger and 6-pack of LED light bulbs! And, learn about
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Biomass power is a significant source of renewable energy in Michigan
and around the country. It aids forest resources, helps manage wood
waste, and supports jobs and rural economies.
Get the whole story: Visit our website for details and contest
rules, or www.bioenergyday.org to learn
more about this national event. They have an excellent video that illustrates the benefits
of biomass power generation.
economy on track
Michigan’s forest economy is running ahead of
schedule in meeting a $20 billion annual output goal set by Gov.
Rick Snyder in 2013.
The Governor challenged the industry to “reinvent” and increase its
annual economic output from $14 billion to $20 billion by 2018,
adding 10% more jobs and expanding exports by 50%. The first two
targets have been met.
“This is outstanding news for Michigan, and clear proof that
sustainable forest management works for our natural resources and
our economy,” Keith Creagh, Director of the Dept. of Natural
Resources, said in a news release. “The state will
continue to collaborate with industry leaders to keep this positive
momentum going and to further boost exports of quality Michigan
Forestry employs more than 96,600 people in Michigan, from loggers
and truck drivers manufacturing. In the U.P., one-third of all
manufacturing jobs are forest related.
Candidates visit biomass plants
candidates visited biomass power plants last month. From top left
clockwise: Cadillac Renewable Energy manager Thomas Schmid points
out emission controls to Douglas Gabert (D-Reed City), 102nd
Dist.; Daire Rendon (R-Lake City), 103rd Dist., is shown with Gary
Melow of Michigan Biomass, and Tom Vine and Dean Taylor of Viking
Energy in McBain; Sue Allor (R-Wolverine), 106th Dist., looks into
the boiler with Neil Taratuta, manager at Viking Energy in Lincoln.
plan would reduce costs, shutter U.P. gas unit
The Michigan Agency on Energy says it supports a
plan that would reduce energy support costs to
U.P. electricity customers by as much as $12 million
by replacing a natural gas generator with new transmission
The transmission plan proposed by American Transmission Co. (ATC)
would mothball a natural gas unit at White Pine Power in Ontonagon,
which had been operating under direction of the Mid-Continent
Independent System Operator (MISO) in order to maintain reliability.
By changing system operations to what they were before 1998, ATC
says it would eliminate the need to run White Pine for system
support, and still meet regulator reliability criteria.
Not everyone thinks it's a good idea. State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Keweenaw)
said the plant's generation capacity is need and shutting it down
would result in the lost of 20 jobs at the plant.
MISO's decision to end SSR support for the power plant means it
could close in 90 days.
Read more at the Keweenaw Report.
needed to ensure capacity, compliance with CPP
Energy efficiency will be a key part of Michigan's
ability to meet power reliability requirements and potential clean
A study commissioned by the Michigan Agency on Energy shows that
energy-saving incentives programs are needed in order to avoid
power outages as the state's coal plants retire.
In a news release, Sally Talberg,
chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission, said the state
is in a good position to comply with U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan,
which is suspended while it undergoes legal challenges.
plans new gas-fired power plant
DTE energy has announced plans for a 1000 MW
natural gas power plant it wants to build near it's Belle River
power plant in St. Clair County.
The Port Huron Times Herald reports the utility plans to have
the facility -- or facilities -- on line in 2023 when several
coal-fired units are scheduled to close. Estimated cost is between
$1 billion and 1.5 billion.
Undeveloped property adjacent to the Bell River site is being eyed
for one of the projects. The project could involve more than a
single plant and multiple sites.
delays new capacity auction launch
The Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO)
missed a federal filing deadline in July, delaying plans to
implement its forward capacity auction until the 2018-19 planning
MISO intends to file in November.
Some stakeholders are happy with the delay saying more time is
needed to get it right. The MISO independent market
monitor however, would like to see the whole thing scrapped, he
said, siting the MISO staff rejection of the plan. The MISO board
should intervene, according to the MISO independent market monitor.
RTO Insider reports MISO’s Markets
Committee will hold an executive session to assess whether to
proceed with the filing.
State asks for reliability reports
Gov. Rick Snyder and the MAE have asked MISO to look
at transmission connections with Ontario and the two Michigan
peninsulas. However, MISO isn’t so sure the request is anything
Snyder and MAE Director Valerie Brader sent the letter in August,
asking MISO to take a near- and long-term look at the benefits of
transmission connections to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and through
the Straits of Mackinac. A key part of the study should be power
flows associated with the Wolverine Power natural gas plant that
plant near Elmira west of Gaylord, and nearby gas storage in
Otsego and Kalkaska counties.
Two bills were introduced this year to look at connecting Upper and
Lower peninsulas transmission; both creating oversight boards
charged with studying the connection.
MISO told reports it’s too early to say if they will study the
transmission proposal. It is also “processing” an earlier request
from Michigan officials asking them to look at the reliability
impacts of unplanned outages at coal and nuclear plants