Solar studies: UP Clean Energy Conference offers virtual session on renewable energy form

Tom Vear, owner of Donckers and the Delft Bistro, is pictured in 2018 with solar panels that were installed atop the downtown Marquette businesses. These panels are part of a larger effort at the businesses to “go green,” Vear said. Vear and Jenn Ray, who own Donckers and the Delft Bistro, will be discussing their small-business solar project experience with Michael Larson of Michigan Energy Options during Thursday’s UP Clean Energy Conference on solar energy. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — For those who want to learn more about the use of solar energy in the Upper Peninsula, the UP Clean Energy Conference will feature a virtual event about this renewable energy form on Thursday.

The program, which is the second event in the UP Clean Energy Conference series, will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, according to an announcement from organizers.

This event, called “Solar Energy Case Studies — Lessons from On the Ground Projects,” will feature several moderated discussions with people who have installed or developed actual renewable energy projects at different scales.

Attendees can “learn the ins and outs from those with experience” during this session, organizers said in an announcement.

Small-Business Solar Projects

Tom Vear and Jenn Ray, owners Donckers/The Delft

Michael Larson of the Michigan Energy Options Marquette office will moderate a discussion on small-business solar projects, hosting Tom Vear and Jenn Ray, owners of Donckers/The Delft in downtown Marquette, as an example.

Community Scale Solar and Wind Projects

Village of L’Anse Community


Richelle Winkler of Michigan Tech University will moderate a discussion on community solar/wind projects, hosting Bob Lafave of the village of L’Anse as an example.

Utility Scale Solar and Wind


Gratiot County Project — Don Schurr, Rich Vander Veen

John Kinch of Michigan Energy Options will moderate a discussion on utility-scale solar/wind projects, hosting Rich Vander Veen, founder of Mackinaw Power, and Don Schuff, founder of Greater Gratiot Development Inc., discussing Gratiot County wind projects as an example.

Registration is required. To register for the event or learn more, visit https://www.upcleanenergy.org/.

The UP Clean Energy Conference series aims to “build awareness and interest among opinion leaders in the Upper Peninsula about opportunities for clean energy solutions that will work in the U.P. and mobilize that enthusiasm to call on the U.P. Energy Task Force for policies and programs that will support a faster and more beneficial transition in the U.P.,” according to upcleanenergy.org. “And while it will be a virtual online conference, it will also promote more networking among U.P. leaders to encourage collaborative efforts and learning about clean energy.”

The next virtual event, “A Discussion About U.P. Propane Delivery Without Line 5,” will be held at 3 p.m. Feb. 12. Register for the Feb. 12 event at https://michigantech. zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6NF-akooTMCAdbrxwBs3tg for the Feb. 12 session.


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