The Upper Peninsula is known this time of year for its attraction to snowmobiling and ice fishing, but in a few communities, wind power is making Yoopers big fans of renewable energy too.
Wind power in the Upper Peninsula already provides enough electricity to energize 7,000 homes. The tax revenues from wind farms boost economic development in the area.
Lease payments to landowners hosting turbines in Michigan total more than $2.8 million a year. Across the state, wind power is pumping millions into local economies.
In Michigan and the rest of the country, wind energy is taking advantage of a near-limitless resource to provide efficient, reliable, and affordable energy for millions of Americans. Thanks to a recent surge in wind power development, Michigan utilities are on track to meet the goal of 10 percent renewable electricity by 2015.
Wind energy is now cheaper than some traditional fuel sources in The Great Lakes State, according to the state Public Service Commission, and when DTE cut rates for its customers in 2013, it cited the lower cost of renewables as the reason, saving rate-payers $90 million on their power bills.
When Michiganders grow wind power, people pay less for electricity. When people pay less for power, they can save and spend elsewhere, driving the economy forward.