MSU Extension, in partnership with Michigan Farm Bureau, MABA, Consumers Energy Company and others, is holding the Powering Michigan Agriculture with Renewable Energy Conference on March 10. The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kellogg Center.
Farmers will have the opportunity to learn more about various renewable energy technologies and energy conservation. Presentations will help farmers better understand wind, solar, biomass, anaerobic digestion and geothermal technologies, how they can be applied, plus energy efficiency, and pros and cons of each technology. Registration for the day is $35 and includes lunch.
While attendance at this workshop is no guarantee of project funding, farmers who have submitted applications for utility rebates and USDA grant funding have experienced success in securing dollars from these sources to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
Grant funds can be used to purchase a renewable energy system or make energy efficiency improvements. Utility rebates can only be used for energy efficiency improvements. Some examples of energy efficiency improvements include:
- Freezer and cooler upgrades
- Lighting improvements, window and plumbing upgrades, insulation
- Replacement grain dryers
- Replacement irrigation units (diesel to electric, high presser to low pressure, traveler to pivots)
- Greenhouse heating, lighting and cooling improvements
- High efficiency motors, pumps, fans, blowers, compressors
- Upgrading /replacing HVAC equipment
— Charles Gould, Michigan State University Extension