Northport 100% Renewable Energy Feasibility Study
Situated in northern Michigan, Northport and Leelanau Township comprise a small community with a significant tourist industry, agricultural presence and natural beauty. A local non-profit, Northport Energy Action Taskforce (NEAT) has articulated a goal to transition their community to 100% locally-generated renewable energy. This feasibility study focused on electricity and included research on the disposition of the community as well as technical analyses of renewable energy systems that would be suitable for attaining the goal. The team created a household survey, followed by resource assessments for wind and solar power, as well as site identification for renewable energy systems. The survey results showed that the community is open to the possibility of increasing the share of renewable energy in the Township, with 71% of respondents expressing support to the initiative. Based on the resource assessment results, we concluded that the resource availability in the location is enough to provide the required electricity to meet the 100% goal. Land availability makes feasible the deployment of large-scale systems needed for the plan. Additional analyses of energy-efficiency potential and energy policies were conducted to inform the development of three scenarios for achieving 100% local renewable energy.