January ALAP Meeting Recap

We are an informal group of Northern Michigan citizens seeking to have more local impact and connectedness with our money. We gather once a month for a potluck and to meet local entrepreneurs and learn about their projects. During our meetings, we also share ideas for how we might keep more of our money locally and invested for triple-bottom-line returns (financial, social, and environmental). This is an experiment of sorts with exciting offshoot possibilities, including the spawning of a more formal local investing club. For now, though, those interested in pursuing local investments with other group members or presenting entrepreneurs may do so independently of this ALAP group. Our meetings are open to any individual, although we request that you RSVP so that we can assure sufficient meeting space.

Thursday, January 12 ALAP Recap
Thanks to all who attended last night’s As Local As Possible Investment Discussion Group meeting and a special thanks to our invited guest speaker, Steve Smiley of Heron Wind.  After another delicious potluck, we gave the floor to Steve who introduced us to his wind turbine manufacturing and wind project development company, Heron Wind.  Steve then discussed a Solon Township wind project, now in the development phase.  The proposed project has a budget of roughly $7m and would consist of 4 Heron Wind-provided commercial wind turbines with a peak capacity of 3MW (about enough to power 1,000 homes).  A variety of investment opportunities are likely to emerge with this project including higher risk funds to complete the development stage (expected to be in the $50k-$100k ballpark).  This phase entails securing all necessary permits and the all-important power purchase agreement with a utility company.  Future investment structures to facilitate construction and installation of the wind project depend on investor preferences, available tax benefits,  and funding options from traditional lenders.  Steve emphasized that community support remains a key success factor for projects like this given reduced regional utility appetite for wind projects, and he was excited to present to a group of new faces.  Steve keeps an office at the Commons in TC and is a wealth of knowledge in the energy economics and renewable energy spaces.  For those with an interest in learning more about Heron Wind and possible investment opportunities with regional wind projects, please contact Steve directly (smiley@heronwindmfg.com).
Other news announced during our meeting included:
*Maura relaunched her Sustainable Living Traverse City website.  Check it out @ http://SustainableLivingTC.com
*Zach will be participating in a Farm and Food Investment Work Group Breakout at the Farm Route to Prosperity Summit on Feb 17 @ MLUI (http://foodandfarmingnetwork.org).  Those with an interest in possibly attending the session, please let Zach know (zach@gldneye.com). 
*Barb said to keep an eye out for February’s Edible Grande Traversewhich will feature a mention of ALAP.  Thanks Barb!
*Bruce announced a successful “match” after his presentation made at our January meeting.  Interest on the 1-Year note will be made 100% in Bay Bucks!
February Meeting:
MLUI has graciously offered us their space once again for our February 9 meeting which will begin with a potluck at 6pm.  Speaker TBA.  For those who have potential speakers in mind, please send them along the presenter submission form (if you need a copy email me at zach@gldneye.com).  It was nice to see everyone last night and for those who couldn’t make it due to the snow we look forward to seeing you next month!
Have a wonderful winter weekend,