The Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan is rural and residents are experiencing significant food insecurity. A Dow Fellows team worked with the Western Upper Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR) and the Western UP Food Systems Council to advance sustainable food systems planning in the region. To develop a comprehensive plan for the region, the team created individual community health profiles to better understand the needs of the community concerning access to food. The Dow team also developed a food systems planning tool kit for local municipalities. They created a Master Planning Addendum Template that can serve as a prelude to a food policy section of a city or county master plan. They also developed a Food Policy Master Planning Catalog to assist WUPPDR in engaging with local food systems planners who wish to incorporate aspects of sustainability into their food systems.
Many utility companies, such as DTE and Consumers Energy, are looking to expand solar energy production on brownfields to reach Michigan’s renewable electricity standard of 15% renewables by 2021. Brownfields are contaminated land areas that are difficult or impossible to use for farmland, residential, or commercial development. While there are benefits to using brownfields, several challenges exist with renewable energy development on brownfields. Working with the Michigan Land Bank Authority, A Dow Sustainability Fellows student team developed some potential solutions to recognize the environmental and economic benefits of solar development on brownfields. The team performed interviews with key stakeholders that hold a wide range of knowledge related to the electricity sector, brownfields, and solar energy development in Michigan.
This case study describes a 1.3 MW solar energy installation located in Coldwater, Michigan, on the site of a demolished foundry. A prime example of brownfield redevelopment for renewable energy, it is a 7-acre project that deploys nearly 5,000 solar panels—generating enough electricity to power roughly 150 homes. The project became operational in February 2018. The case study is one of four produced by a 2019 Dow Fellows team.
This case study describes a 430,000 kW solar energy installation located in East Lansing, Michigan, on the site of a retired, capped landfill. A prime example of brownfield redevelopment for renewable energy, it is a 1-acre project on a 2.7-acre site that deploys 1,000 solar panels—generating enough electricity to power roughly 60 homes. The project became operational in December 2018. The case study is one of four produced by a 2019 Dow Fellows team.
This case study describes a ½ MW solar energy installation located in Cadillac, Michigan, on the site of a manufacturing facility destroyed by fire in 2013. A prime example of brownfield redevelopment for renewable energy, it is a 5-acre project on a 20-acre site that required remediation of rubble, lead, PCE, and asbestos. The project is expected to become operational in 2020. The case study is one of four produced by a 2019 Dow Fellows team.
This case study describes a 2.44 MW solar energy installation located in O’Shea Park, in the Grandale neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan. The site is a 20-acre park housing a 9.6-acre project. It will produce enough electricity to power roughly 450 homes. The case study is one of four produced by a 2019 Dow Fellows team.
This fact sheet compares the impacts of two renewable energy projects—one solar, one wind—proposed for the same area: Shiawassee County, Michigan. The county ultimately developed zoning regulations that would permit the solar project as proposed, but would not allow the wind project as proposed. Some of the most important factors they took into consideration are presented in this fact sheet.
This fact sheet addresses two questions about the impact of wind energy developments on local employment: 1) How many local jobs are created by wind turbines? 2) What kinds of jobs are created by wind turbines? The fact sheet compares and interprets the outcome of four wind development projects across Michigan.
This fact sheet uses a case study from Gratiot County, Michigan, to demonstrate how community engagement can lead to better outcomes for future energy development. The fact sheet describes the collaborative framework used to create the Gratiot Regional Excellence and Transformation (GREAT) plan, which includes proactive planning for renewable energy development and was the first in Michigan to establish collective goals across municipal boundaries.
This fact sheet addresses two questions about the economic impact of wind energy developments on landowners: 1) How are local residents compensated for the use of their land for wind turbines? 2) Does the money from landowner payments stay in the local community? The fact sheet compares and interprets the outcome of four wind development projects across Michigan.