Northport & University of Michigan working on 100% Renewable Energy!

Photo by Steve Smiley

Photo by Steve Smiley

Midwest Energy News reports that ‘NEAT’ idea to go 100 percent renewable:

A group of residents in Leelanau Township, which includes the village of Northport, are finalizing a goal of becoming a 100 percent clean energy community. A Renewable Energy Community Plan for the area, which has a total population of about 2,000, is meant to be a template for other small towns to use.

The community is already on its way toward the 100 percent goal, with a previously constructed community wind turbine that helps power a local wastewater treatment plant. There’s also theNorthport Creek Golf Course, dubbed as the first solar powered golf course in the country. Other solar energy systems are planned for local agricultural operations, wineries and government facilities.

A team of graduate students from the University of Michigan chose to help the community develop the plan. Leelanau-Northport won the help after competing with dozens of other hopefuls at a university symposium.

The students are working with the Northport Energy Action Taskforce, a local nonprofit known as NEAT, that was started seven years ago by area residents.

“We are at the community level … I strongly believe that’s the only way we’re going to move our renewable energy trajectory,” said Doug McInnis, NEAT’s president and a retired engineer and accountant. “It’s just a little frustrating when you start waiting for state and federal action.”

McInnis hopes Leelanau and Northport will be an inspiration to other small towns across Michigan and the U.S.

Read on for lots more about this exciting effort!