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On the threshold of bright new era

To the Journal editor:

Anyone who lives through long U.P. winters knows the joy of a bluebird-sky bright sunshine day in February to boost the sluggishness of “blah gray days.”

Sunshine feels so good on our faces but is even mightier as solar power. We’re now standing on the threshold of an exciting new era. Global, national, and Michigan-based renewable energy goals all point to an urgent need to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide pollution.

While the U.P.’s heritage was built on pioneering forestry and mining, it’s time to stride into a healthy future by including locally produced, clean energy from the sun.

The Superior Solar Project in Sands Township is poised to produce enough energy to power 35,000 homes (SuperiorSolarProject.com). As the recent front page Mining Journal article highlights, Northern Michigan University is poised at a leadership/legacy moment to double-down on its commitment to sustainability as it considers setting a target of net zero carbon dioxide pollution by 2050.

The reduction of carbon dioxide pollution from the Superior Solar Project will be 167,403 metric tons annually, equivalent to the current annual emissions of 30,178 cars, according to EPA.

The reduction in forest carbon sequestration on the site is minimal — 37 times less than the annual carbon saved due to clean energy output.

At the center and heart of the U.P., Marquette County can lead by example. Let’s innovate and find ways to environmentally and economically thrive. By investing in the power of the sun, we can protect what we love here.

Let’s generate our power right here in the Upper Peninsula. Ultimately, we’ll need it to support a growing demand for clean electricity to cost effectively power our cars and heat our homes.

Our local utility providers need to hear from us – purchase solar energy and bring on the sun!

AMY WAYES DOUGHTY

Skandia

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