Northern Michigan city leads the state in renewable energy

The Michigan Climate Action Network and partner organizations released a new report on Tuesday identifying four counties, townships and cities in Michigan that have set targets for carbon neutrality or 100% renewable energy. Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Highland Park and Traverse City are all working to bring direct environmental change for our state.

“It’s still a misconception among the public that renewable energy is more expensive than traditional fossil fuels,” said Traverse City Commissioner Tim Werner. “That’s just not the case.”

Over the past few years, Traverse City has taken the lead in addressing the climate crisis.

“Traverse City has its 100% renewable goal, which we have achieved,” Werner said. “We had a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2020, for city operations.”

Traverse City Light and Power currently has a goal of transitioning the entire community to 100% renewable energy by 2040. This is the only such goal in the state.

“The community here in Traverse City, and with Light Power as the power provider, the community has spoken out many times, with a strong interest in moving towards a smaller carbon footprint, renewable energy,” said Werner.

Traverse City Light and Power also hopes to achieve 40% renewable energy by 2025.

“We can’t fix or solve climate change ourselves, but we can set an example for our children and grandchildren,” Werner said.

There are also ongoing talks of Traverse City Light and Power partnering with other communities to build a large-scale solar project in the northwestern part of the state’s Lower Peninsula.

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