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Renewable Energy Systems Provide Growing Opportunity
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Leaders from across West Michigan gathered today at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon for a full-day discussion on renewable energy applications in Michigan's growing agriculture sector.
 

 

Source: Michigan Agri-Business Association

Contact: Chuck Lippstreu, clippstreu@byrumfisk.com

 

Experts: Renewable Energy Systems Provide Growing Opportunity for Michigan Agribusiness

 

Meeting in Muskegon focuses on cross-sector cooperation to expand renewable energy access in Michigan
 
Leaders from across West Michigan gathered today at the Michigan Alternative & Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon for a full-day discussion on renewable energy applications in Michigan's growing agriculture sector. The meeting included presentations from renewable energy companies, agribusinesses, government organizations and representatives of Consumers Energy - each focusing on how renewable technology could further strengthen Michigan agriculture.
 
 "The time is now to be talking about renewable energy and how modern energy technology can benefit our state," said State Rep. Collene Lamonte, who represents Michigan's 91st House District. "Not only do renewable energy sources help protect our environment and strengthen our agriculture industry, they also hold potential to create the next generation of good jobs in places like Muskegon County."
 
 "Renewable energy is good for business and good for our economy," said State Sen. Goeff Hansen, who represents Michigan's 34th Senate District. "We need to ensure that efforts underway to expand renewable energy in our state also have a positive impact for farmers and agribusinesses. That's why it's good news that we have so many experts in the room to focus specifically on agriculture issues today."
 
 Renewable energy provides one strategy to increase energy access while protecting the environment and boosting Michigan's climate resiliency. Cooperation is growing in Michigan to help farmers and agri-businesses take advantage of advanced renewable technologies.
 
 "Renewable energy provides a host of benefits to businesses across Michigan, especially for those in the agriculture sector, or in rural communities where renewable energy can help reduce costs and expand access," said Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. "We're hard at work with folks across Michigan to expand renewable energy programs. We're pleased at the level of engagement we're seeing - including companies, colleges and universities, government representatives from the Michigan Public Service Commission and Michigan Legislature, and utility leaders at Consumers Energy."
 
 Since 2008, Michigan has seen more than $2 billion in private sector investment in renewable energy, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission. Michigan's agribusiness community has continued to call for investment specific to agriculture and rural areas of the state, and Byrum noted that the broad attendance at Wednesday's meeting is another sign of forward progress on this issue.
 
Presenters at the forum included:
 
  • State Representative Collene Lamonte - Michigan's 91st House DistrictState
  • Sen. Goeff Hansen - Michigan's 34th Senate District
  • Julie Balwin and Jesse Harlow - Michigan Public Service Commission
  • Nancy Popa - Consumers Energy
  • Art Toy - 4 Elements Energy
  • Dave Hollens - New Energy Solutions, LLC
  • Al Go - Michigan State University
  • Kim Walton - Michigan Alternative & Renewable Energy Center
  • Darryl Tietz - Basic Solar
  • Douglas Jester - 5 Lakes Energy
  • Dr. Paul Isely - GVSU Seidman College of Business
  • Jim Byrum - Michigan Agri-Business Association