Photos by Beth Price unless noted.
We at Groundwork, along with our colleagues at Great Lakes Business Network and League of Conservation Voters, were honored to recently host Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel for a tour of a solar energy installation west of Traverse City.
The event was more conversation than speechmaking and offered the small group an opportunity to share thoughts on the way forward on clean energy and ask about Line 5, while also allowing the attorney general to pose questions of her own.
Operations Manager Bart Hautala, of Heritage Sustainable Energy, which owns the facility, opened with a brief profile of the installation: it can power the equivalent of 900 homes, produces 5 megawatts, and cost about $1 million per megawatt to build. And then the tenor of the gathering evolved into a conversational give and take.
The AG has played and continues to play a central role in moving forward on shutting down the Line 5 oil pipeline in the Mackinac Straits, and she and her department’s counsel will be instrumental in the successful and rapid expansion of clean energy infrastructure. Siting issues related to property rights and zoning are already in play, and as more and more townships deal with proposals for clean energy infrastructure, they are likely to drag Michigan ever deeper into what’s proven to be a very prickly thicket in the Great Lakes State.
For the supporters and partners of Groundwork, GLBN, and LCV, please know we remain committed to sharing thoughts, questions, and solutions with our local, state, and federal policy leaders. And what better way to do that than on a fresh and sunny afternoon in the midst of a northern Michigan July, while surrounded by pollution-free electrons spinning out to the grid to power our lives.
Learn more about our Climate & Environment program HERE!
Enjoy your summer!
Jeff Smith is Groundwork’s Communications Director.