Just before Christmas, Ian Olmsted and a team from Peninsula Solar completed the installation of 70 rooftop solar panels above the Art’s Annex, the former gas station turned t-shirt shop next to the popular tavern in downtown Glen Arbor. The solar array will generate 30,000 kilowatt hours annually —satisfying 15-20 percent of Art’s energy load.

By Jacob Wheeler Sun editor When Gary Cozette and Joe Lada climb the ladder to the roof of their “Tower House” in Burdickville, they behold a breathtaking view of the Glen Lakes, with the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lake Michigan in the distance. In their immediate foreground is an array of recently installed, cutting-edge solar […]

Out in our meadow beyond the vintage apple trees planted by Irish immigrant potato farmers named Sullivan over a century ago, Don Lessard set up a tripod topped by a round sheet of curved graph paper under a plastic globe. We could see the nearby trees and hills reflected upside down in the globe, and Don traced the shadow lines on the graph paper as he said, “This is a great spot for a solar panel!” He then sent the graph and our energy use information to his son Ambrose down in Lansing, and from GPS data and records of sunshine in Leelanau County recorded over many years, they calculated the size of the solar panel needed to produce the kilowatts we require to cover our annual electric needs.

n early March 2011 I invited the Representative of Michigan’s 101st District, Ray Franz to come and speak with my students at Onekema Elementary School about his role in our State’s government, I asked him to speak of current issues in Michigan that would be of interest to a typical third grader, and to answer student questions regarding our natural resources, energy, transportation, and our civil liberties.

The Environmental Law and Policy Center’s new Michigan’s solar and wind energy supply chain study finds that 121 Michigan companies are engaged in the solar industry and 120 Michigan companies are part of the wind energy supply chain.

Northern Michigan legislator Ray Franz, who often talked about repealing a Michigan law requiring that 10 percent of the state’s energy come from renewable sources tells the Michigan Land Use Institute he will no longer pursue the matter.