Local officials wary of new energy plan

Capital News Service
LANSING — Some rural officials are concerned that a recent package of energy bills will encourage yet more wind turbines to be built in their communities, leaving residents to bear the physical burden they pose.      
The main thrust of the two-bill package is to increase renewable energy to 15 percent by 2021, attempting to wean the state off harmful coal fire pollution. It is sponsored by Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek. The state successfully reached its previous goal of 10 percent last year. “The 15 percent mandate would require double the wind turbines, but developers can’t get them built anywhere,” said Kevon Martis, director of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, a Michigan-based group that raises awareness of the negative impacts of wind projects.

Lower peak use could mean lower energy bills

Capital News Service
LANSING — Energy experts want to lower demand for electricity at peak times to help customers stay green and save money. Reducing peak demand is called peak shaving, said Sarah Mullkoff, the energy program director for the Michigan Environmental Council. “An average citizen should be interested in any and all ways to reduce electricity demand and help save money by not investing ratepayer dollars in unnecessary base load power plants,” Mullkoff said. These base load plants are power plants that aren’t fully used during most of the year, costing taxpayers more money. If enough energy can be saved, it can eliminate the need for these plants’ unused capacity, she said.