Menominee County Industrial Park – City of Menominee, Menominee County
The Menominee County Industrial Park is 140 acres in size and is roughly 39% occupied. Sizes of lots varies from .72 acres to 40 acres, and the price of land per acre is roughly $2,000 average for County/City-owned lots. The original portion of the Park is 40 years old and is almost completely occupied, with only two small vacant lots available. The City has purchased additional acreage to the west of Bay De Noc Road; a 10 acre parcel has a pending sale and the remaining 59.5 acres is undeveloped and will require infrastructure expansion. The park has an Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption. US Highway 41 is less than 1 mile away, and the County Airport is located about 3 miles away. Rail is directly adjacent to the park.
Utilities for the park include Wisconsin Public Service for both gas and electric.
According to FEMA, the park site is not within any floodplains. The National Wetland Inventory shows that wetlands are present in three areas within the park, primarily in the western portion. A permit may be required depending where on-site energy development may occur. The Michigan Natural Features Inventory provides a listing of rare and endangered species by County. Menominee County has 43 different plant and animal species listed under the MNFI. Because of the sensitivity of specific locations of these species, the MNFI has created the Biological Rarity Index, which provides a ranking (high, moderate, low) of finding a rare or endangered species in a certain location by Public Land Survey System (PLSS) Sections. At the Menominee County site, an area to the east of US-41 is identified as having a low probability. The park itself is not within the risk area.
The EPA’s ERMA (Environmental Response Management Application) provides data on sensitive habitats and species. Data from 1993 suggests several sensitive species along the shoreline of Green Bay. No species are identified within the park area. According to the Michigan DEQ, no sites of environmental contamination (PA201 sites) are present within the park or the immediate area, and no underground storage tanks are currently present.
Population (U.S. Census, 2010): 8,599 (City of Menominee); 24,029 (Menominee County)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (Menominee County – MI BLM, 2014)
%% of population high school graduate or higher: 90.7
% of population bachelor degree or higher: 2.8
% of population with a disability: 16.6
% of population that are veterans: 9.9
The Industrial Park falls under City Zoning, and is in the Industrial park Zoning District. Power generation requires a special use permit (and payment of associated fee), granted by the City Planning Commission. A technical reading of the zoning ordinance would mean that any construction that generates power would then require a special use permit. The M-2 zone requires a 50ft building/structure setback from street; 10ft setback for sides. Lot coverage by buildings and structures shall be no greater than 1/3 of site. Maximum building height is 75 feet, with an exception for appurtenances to mechanical or structural functions. Freestanding towers shall not exceed 1.5x the maximum building height. A site plan process in present in the zoning ordinance.
Outdoor heating units are prohibited by local ordinance, defined as the following: “Accessory structures located on a parcel of land that supply a source of heat to another structure that is not attached to the outdoor heating unit, whether located on the same or a different parcel of land.
Any form of heat generated from the outdoor heating unit is intended to be within the coverage of this section, whether burning wood, coal, natural gas, any other combustible material or electrically powered.
Any buildings or structures located within the City must be heated by systems wholly contained within the building to be heated. Outdoor heating units are not permissible and may not be installed or operated in the City. Industrial heating plants that services more than one building are not included in this definition and are not prohibited by this section.”
Businesses and EDO representatives interviewed for this project expressed strong satisfaction with their utility provider, WPS. The Menominee Industrial Park is in an envious position with very affordable electric rates. Similar to the situation in Ironwood, except with Wisconsin Public Service being the provider, there is a large utility company with a small concentrated footprint in Michigan. This results in the lowest commercial/industrial rates in the U.P. Part of the economics of low cost power is the short distance from generation sources.
For the record, it is important to note that the dynamics of local generation vs electricity from Wisconsin appear entirely absent in this park. Indeed, all individuals expressed skepticism in the benefits of shifting policy landscapes that could disentangle U.P.’s energy system from Wisconsin and connecting the electric grid in the two Michigan peninsulas. In the face of the lowest electric rates in the region, such skepticism is understandable, and perhaps even justifiable.
Energy Efficiency Retrofits
Great Lakes Foods is an excellent example of a company that takes energy consumption seriously. All their lighting is high efficiency. Managers use behavioral energy efficiency methods and open communication with employees to prevent abuse of internal heating and thermostat settings. Working closely utility representatives, they have taken advantage of energy efficiency programs. Great Lakes Foods actively monitor their monthly consumption, and actively work on squeezing more efficiency out of their operations. Due to such a proactive approach to energy efficiency, Great Lakes Foods are able to realize significant lifetime savings by prioritizing energy efficient technologies with every upgrade or expansion of their facility.
Very low energy and demand rates for large commercial businesses makes solar currently a low priority option for high energy users like manufacturing facilities. Some smaller commercial businesses like suppliers or warehouses may realize some savings through adoption of small rooftop solar PV. The presence of an alternative energy business within the airpark could accelerate some of these transitions.
Not a highly viable option because of insufficient space for a wind turbine of sufficient capacity to make a difference. Menominee-Marinette Twin County Airport (General Aviation) runway is in-line with the Park. With only 1000 ft. between the airport and Park, FAA height restrictions may limit the size of wind turbines.
Geothermal heating and cooling is not implemented by anyone at this. For large energy consumers and manufacturing facilities in this industrial park, building heating costs do not constitute a significant portion of their energy expenditures. Cheap electricity rates make geothermal a viable option for new customers with a small energy footprint, like office spaces, could implement geothermal to heat and cool their buildings. Current historically low natural gas prices could make this a low priority option, but long term volatility in natural gas prices could accelerate some of these transitions.
There is some biomass utilization in the Park, but insufficient information to provide specific recommendations.
Industrial Waste Heat Recapture
Insufficient information to make a specific recommendation for all businesses. In the cold winter months, outside temperatures could fall below temperatures inside a cold storage facility. Under such circumstances, by circulating naturally cold outside air by incorporating ambient air cooling technologies, cold storage facilities could reduce some of their energy consumption.