Groundwork has made clean-energy advocacy one of its pillar programs based on the potential that locally installed and generated renewable power has for enhancing community resilience.
A key accomplishment of our Clean Energy team has been raising the profile of renewable energy statewide by hosting the Michigan Clean Energy Conference. First held in 2017, the annual event attracts a range of influential speakers, from those with international standing to people working to put solar on church roofs in Detroit. By connecting people, ideas, and capital, the conference is helping create new energy leaders in Michigan while furthering the state’s clean energy infrastructure.
Groundwork is also working locally in northwest Lower Michigan to increase local power generation by offering an innovative crowd-funding platform—SolaRISE—which helps schools, churches, farms, and nonprofits raise capital to build their own clean energy systems.
For more than a decade, we have encouraged northern Michigan communities to become leaders in clean energy, and in August 2018, Traverse City became the first city in Michigan to commit to using 100% renewable energy, by 2040, in part as a result of our advocacy.
Groundwork has also been a leader in the campaign to shut down the Line 5 oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. We organized the high-profile Oil and Water Don’t Mix campaign, and then partnered to create the Great Lakes Business Network. Our work to decommission Line 5 protects not only a globally rare environment, but also hundreds of businesses and thousands of Michigan jobs.
Moving forward, Groundwork’s clean energy team will be …