Small Town USA Could Lead on 100% Renewable Energy

How about building renewable energy-centered communities from the ground up?

That’s what one small town in Michigan has in mind, hoping others will follow them to implement 100% renewable energy  on a small scale. 

When you’re looking at a community of 2000 people, a combination of efficiency, smallish wind turbines, and solar can go a long way.

Leelanau Township is finalizing its Renewable Energy Community Plan, reports Midwest Energy News. A wind turbine already provides power for the wastewater treatment plant and its solar-powered golf course is the first in the US. Solar systems are planned for government buildings, wineries and local farms.

While Michigan will get 10% of electricity from renewables as of this year, it will take way too long to get to 100% unless municipalities lead.

Michigan town

University of Michigan students are working with the town’s task force to develop their plan. So far they have conducted a survey and held community events to educate the public and get their input. The majority of residents (71%) support the idea.

Students are developing alternative scenarios for the town to choose from, all of which focus on electricity for now – a mix of efficiency, solar and wind. Leaders on the task force expect the transition to take about 10 years.

"There’s a lot of interest and a lot of excitement here," task force member Skip Pruss told Midwest Energy News. "We have a lot of evangelical clean energy activists in the community."

About 20 towns/ cities in the US are working toward the same goal, including: Aspen, CO; Burlington, VT (already there, but too much reliance on big hydro); Greensburg, KS; Ithaca and East Hampton, NY; Lancaster and Palo Alto, CA. You can track them and those around the world at [sorry this link is no longer available]

Read our article, Spotlight On Michigan: Biogas, EV Tariffs, Solar Manufacturing.

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Comments on “”

  1. Chad Tudenggongbu

    bravo to Leelanau! Who is the contact person about this program – a.k.a., Leelanau township going 100%RE?

    Chad T.


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