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Whitmer, Duggan talk federal investments in Michigan’s clean energy economy

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By: Ken Coleman

During a day-long summit Monday in Detroit, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared, “Michigan’s clean energy future is bright.” 

“With the game-changing clean energy package I signed to lower costs, create jobs, and reduce pollution and the Biden-Harris administration’s historic legislation to bring clean manufacturing and critical supply chains back home to Michigan, we are poised to lead the future,” Whitmer added. “We will keep working together to lower costs for tens of thousands of Michigan families while improving their quality of life and protecting the precious natural resources that we, and future generations of Michiganders, rely on. Let’s keep rolling up our sleeves and facing climate change with climate action.”

Whitmer noted that in November, she signed a set of bills that take her proposals from the MI Healthy Climate Plan. She pointed out that the bills will lower household utility costs by an average of $145 a year, create 160,000 “good-paying” jobs, and bring nearly $8 billion of federal tax dollars home to Michigan for clean energy projects. 

The summit, which was held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, was emceed by Mitch Landrieu, former senior adviser in the President Joe Biden administration and current Biden-Harris campaign official. Whitmer, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and White House National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi were featured speakers.

 Mitch Landrieu, former senior advisor to President Joe Biden administration and current reelection campaign advisor. | Ken Coleman

Duggan said Detroit is looking at ways to generate enough solar energy to power more than 100 city-owned buildings. He credited the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that Biden signed. 

“The 30% tax credit we are eligible for under IRA is allowing us to turn 250 acres of blighted vacant land into solar arrays,” Duggan said. “Not only are we doing it without forcing a single resident to move if they don’t want to, [but] we are providing $15,000 per home for owner occupants in the neighborhood so they can make energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. Imagine the message that it will send to cities around the country when Detroit is able to move all of its government buildings to renewable, non-fossil fuel power.”

Schor lifted up the importance of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Act. 

“I am always proud to tell our story and was excited to share this with the incredible group of assembled people today, and to help others to take advantage of these opportunities the way Lansing has,” Schor said. “We will continue to ensure that our growth is smart and sustainable.”

Earlier in the day, DTE Energy and the city of Trenton broke ground on a new project, where Whitmer was present along with U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Ann Arbor), Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, and DTE Energy Chairman and CEO Jerry Norcia. 

The Trenton Channel Energy Center will be built on the recently demolished Trenton Channel coal power site. When completed in 2026, the new storage facility is expected to be the largest standalone battery energy storage project in the Great Lakes region. The facility will store electricity during times of excess generation and distribute the power to 40,000 customers when they need it. 

During the news conference, Whitmer credited the IRA for the development and said it will “help us strengthen our grid and produce more clean power when it’s less costly.”  

“Let’s get it done,” Whitmer said. 

This article is republished from the Michigan Advance under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.