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Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Renewable Energy Program Plan and Pilot Project

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
April 18, 2017

This practicum was conducted for Northport Energy Action Taskforce (NEAT) and Levin Energy Partners as an opus requirement for the Master of Science degree in the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE). The goals of this practicum were to assess the potential of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) in meeting NEAT’s future renewable energy goals through a pilot project conducted in Northport. This practicum created and disseminated a commercial energy use survey, analyzed and made recommendations for a pilot project at Thomas & Milliken (T&M) Millworks, and summarized key findings and challenges for future energy projects in Northport.

This practicum assessed several different facility upgrades for a small business in the township of Northport, Leelanau County, MI. Project technologies were: wood biomass combined heat and power (CHP) system, wood chip and pellet boiler, two sizes of solar PV installation, two LED lighting replacement scenarios, and a hybrid project combining solar PV and wood boiler. Project finance focused on PACE and Michigan Saves, while also considering the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant. Recommendations were based on four criteria: cost savings ($), energy savings (kWh), greenhouse gas emissions reductions (kg CO2 e), and facility wood waste reductions (kg).

Overall, the 89-kW solar array generated the highest cost savings and emissions reductions over a 20-year time horizon. The CHP system performed well for energy self-generation and wood waste reduction, but questions remained about greenhouse gas emissions and fuel availability. Technology analysis led to recommendations and suggestions about the broader implementation of PACE in Northport.

Research Areas
Energy Systems

clean energy, renewable energy

Publication Type
Master's Thesis
Digital Object Identifier
Full Citation

Blanchard, Rees. (2017) “Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Renewable Energy Program Plan and Pilot Project.” Master's Practicum, University of Michigan: Ann Arbor 1-76.