Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG) Director David C. Hollister announced that the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG) Energy Office has awarded grants to Michigan State University Extension and the Grand Traverse County Extension Office to assist Michigan farmers with wind energy development opportunities.Lansing, Michigan – June 16, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “Wind energy can diversify our energy resource base, help reduce pollution caused by fossil fuels, and provide much-needed cost savings or revenue for farmers,” Granholm said. Michigan State University and county extension offices will assist farmers to evaluate the economics of installing their own wind generators or leasing their land for commercial wind generators. Michigan State University will receive a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant of $75,000 to: – adapt existing wind energy materials to the needs of Michigan farmers – work intensively with early adopters, – develop a computer model for evaluating the economics and risks of a wind power investment, – conduct workshops on wind power, – and support travel to wind generator sites so farmers can see wind generators in operation. A $15,000 DOE grant to the Grand Traverse County Extension Office will provide financial support for county staff to be active in the state program. “Wind energy is the fastest-growing renewable energy resource in the world today,” DLEG Director David C. Hollister said. “We need to help our agricultural community evaluate this local, clean energy resource.” Hollister also announced that the city of East Lansing will receive a biodiesel infrastructure grant from the State Energy Office. East Lansing is the latest in a growing number of cities nationwide that are integrating biodiesel into their fleet operations. This grant will enable the city to enhance its planned fueling facility with a pump and tank for biodiesel refueling. The $24,500 grant will be applied to one of two 25,000 underground storage tanks for East Lansing’s new fueling facility. Terms of the grant specify that three years of biodiesel fueling from that tank will begin in April 2005. City of East Lansing Environmental Specialist Dave Smith estimates the city will consume approximately 125,000 gallons of biodiesel fuel during the grant period. “We are excited to be able to use a fuel that reduces polluting emissions, improves the efficiency of our vehicles, and reduces our dependence on foreign oil,” Hollister said. “With rising gas prices, renewable fuels like biodiesel lead to energy security as well as cleaner air and sound local markets.” The City of East Lansing is a member of the Greater Lansing Area Clean Cities Coalition, a group of government and private fleets that commit themselves to advancing domestically abundant alternative fuels to promote local economic and environmental well-being as well as national energy security. Funding for this biodiesel grant was made available through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.