U-M Students Lead Solar Energy Success Stories

By: 
Elizabeth LaPorte, Program Manager
Release Date: 
5/3/2019

 

New Report Highlights the Benefits of Community Input in Traverse City

A U-M team project, completed in December 2018, focused on Traverse City’s commitment to renewable sources by highlighting case studies of community benefit models from other renewable energy projects. The team made recommendations of the models that would work best in the Read the New Report:  Incorporating Social Sustainability & Community Benefits into Renewable Energy ProjectsTraverse City area; reviewed community engagement strategies and summarized the most effective ways to involve the community; conducted research to understand community priorities and stakeholder perspectives, and convened stakeholders to discuss renewable energy in the Traverse City area.

Beyond Renewable: Incorporating Social Sustainability & Community Benefits into Renewable Energy Projects, a report recently released by the team of graduate students featured methods to increase community input in making a commitment to using renewable energy. The report is one of the outcomes of a year-long student-led project that involved working directly with a client and Traverse City-area community members.

“…communities should employ a participatory process that includes, at minimum, opportunities for community consultation.”
—excerpt from Beyond Renewable report

Creating Success Stories

Through this project, several partners hope to create a solar and energy efficiency success stories to help rural and urban communities improve their homes, create jobs, and save residents money. The Groundwork Center (project partner) is already using the Beyond Renewable report to communicate the financial benefits across stakeholder groups and build support for renewable energy development in Traverse City.

“The Traverse City Rural Independence through Solar Energy (TC-RISE) project hopes to create a series of solar and efficiency success stories that will help rural and urban communities improve their homes, create jobs, and save residents money.”
—excerpt from Beyond Renewable report

Project Team 

The project team includes four dual-degree graduate Dow Masters Fellows, an advisor, and partner. Photo of team members Fox & Futcher

Dow Masters Fellows Team:

  • Elana Fox, Ross School of Business and School for Environment and Sustainability;
  • Emily Futcher, Ross School of Business and Ford School of Public Policy;
  • Augusta Gudeman, Ford School of Public Policy and Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning; and
  • Monika Johnson, Ross School of Business and School for Environment and Sustainability

Advisor: Sarah Mills, Ph.D., U-M Ford School of Public Policy

Partner: Dan Worth, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities in Traverse City