Advance Notice: Briefs

Whitmer: State-owned facilities to use 100% renewable energy by 2025

By: - April 22, 2021 3:13 pm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a press conference on renewable energy, April 22, 2021 | Laina G. Stebbins

Through partnerships with three of Michigan’s major energy utilities, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday that all state-owned facilities will be transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2025.

The transition will be achieved through energy purchases made by DTE, Consumers Energy and the Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) to expand each utility’s renewable portfolio in Michigan. The state is also launching an interagency team to research, develop and implement a plan to invest further in solar energy deployment across state properties.

“Since my first day in office, we’ve continued to make real, lasting progress on environmental and climate issues across our state,” Whitmer said at a press conference in Grand Ledge. “By moving state-owned buildings to 100% clean, renewable energy, we are working towards protecting public health and our environment, while attracting more clean energy jobs to Michigan.

“Actions like this and the MI Healthy Climate Plan will be paramount within the next 10 years to reduce the harmful impacts of climate change. I will continue to work towards building a stronger, more sustainable future for Michiganders and for future generations to come,” Whitmer said.

The announcements made Thursday, in honor of Earth Day, align with Whitmer’s directive for economic decarbonization in Michigan by 2050 and a 28% reduction below 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

“This is a very exciting proposal for Michigan’s environment,” said Michigan Environmental Council President and CEO Conan Smith. “Through a partnership with our utilities, the governor is honoring her bold commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and she’s using the buying power of state government to directly expand renewable energy generation right here in Michigan. This is the kind of power move we like to see!”

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters (LCV) also praised Whitmer’s move.

“Governor Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan set Michigan on a path to carbon-neutrality by 2050, and she is making sure the state does its part to achieve that goal by moving all state facilities to clean, renewable energy by 2025,” said Lisa Wozniak, LCV executive director.

“Tackling climate change will take local, state and federal government working together. Here in Michigan, we have a real opportunity to get to work with the MI Healthy Climate Plan that will create clean energy jobs, reduce energy costs and protect our air, water and health for the future.”

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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins is a former Michigan Advance reporter. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service.