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C.S. Mott Foundation grant allows Mills and colleagues to research wind energy in MI

March 18, 2016

Last month, CLOSUP Program Manager Sarah Mills received an $80,000 award from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to investigate community attitudes about wind energy in Michigan. Mills will work in collaboration with CLOSUP Director Barry Rabe and Sarah Cannon, a postdoctoral fellow at the Ford School's Education Policy Initiative. 

The project expands on Mills’ 2014 pilot study of farmland owners in these communities, which found that the equitable distribution of windfarm profits has a positive impact on community attitudes toward wind energy. Mills will conduct interviews and collect survey data on the public acceptance of wind turbines in the communities surrounding eight of Michigan’s utility-scale farms. 

This project aims to better understand what contributes to local acceptance of wind energy, and to communicate those lessons to Michigan communities. The researchers hope that their findings will inform local wind development policies.

Sarah Mills is a postdoctoral fellow at the Ford School's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP). She serves as project manager for the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) and supports the National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE). 

Barry Rabe is the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy at the Ford School and also holds appointments in U-M's School of Natural Resources and Environment and Program in the Environment. 

Sarah Cannon is a postdoctoral fellow with the Ford School's Education Policy Initiative. Her research interests focus on education policy, and how the rural social context affects individuals and communities.