- Newsletter (315)
Welcome to the weekly newsletter of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC), the business voice for advanced energy in Michigan. Here’s what’s new this week:
9th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala Recap
The 9th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala brought Michigan EIBC members, federal and state policy makers, all three commissioners of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and many more to the historic Eastern Market area of Detroit, a city that is seizing the moment as a center for advanced energy innovation. The keynote speaker, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, spoke about how businesses in Detroit and the rest of Michigan are leading the way to meet Gov. Whitmer’s net-zero energy goals through the pursuit of greater use of EVs, renewable energy and storage, energy efficiency and smart energy management technology.
The progress Michigan has made and needs to keep making on cleaning up the energy sector is an imperative, Gilchrist II said, and the evidence for why is around us. Detroit has been struggling with the impacts of a changing climate this summer as floods and power outages brought on by increasingly severe weather events have threatened Detroit residents. Gilchrist II spoke passionately about how these and other problems are only going to get worse unless policy makers take more urgent action to cut carbon emissions.
The evening’s awards touched on ways that advanced energy innovation is improving resilience in the face of severe weather. Ford and Michigan EIBC member Sunrun won Project of the Year for their collaboration on the all-electric Ford F-150 truck, which will serve as a backup power source for homes.
Michigan EIBC member Lean and Green Michigan won Company of the Year for its work using commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing to make an increasing number of renewable energy installations and efficiency improvements possible. This year Lean and Green Michigan helped facilitate the biggest C-PACE deal in the state—financing state-of-the-art efficiency measures for a new mixed-use building being constructed in Detroit’s Greektown district.
To reflect the bipartisan agreement on the need for more advanced and renewable energy, the Legislator of the Year Award went to both a Republican and a Democrat: Reps. Greg Markkanen and Yousef Rabhi, who have both been champions of HB 4236, the legislation to remove the cap on rooftop solar. Although Markkanen could not make it to the gala, Rep. Rabhi spoke about how the fight to preserve and expand distributed generation is not over and how he plans to continue fighting for the bill.
Energy Innovators Hall of Fame inductee U.S. Rep. Andy Levin of Michigan’s 9th congressional district talked about how he has been advocating for clean energy throughout his entire career, and continuing to do so by working to elevate the role that renewable energy, EVs and efficiency will play in the infrastructure and budget bills pending in Washington.
MPSC Approves Guidelines for Competitive Procurements
Last week, the MPSC approved guidelines for the competitive bidding by utilities for new energy resources, one of the key proceedings in the MI Power Grid initiative. The guidelines, which were drafted with input from Michigan EIBC and Advanced Energy Economy, set the rules for independently-run power procurements by utilities to ensure the process is unbiased and open to third-party developers so the most efficient mix of clean energy can rise to the top. “Competitive procurement of new energy resources can help reveal available resource options, ensure emerging technologies can be considered as part of utility planning and procurement, and potentially result in lower costs and higher value for customers,” the MPSC’s order said.
The guidelines include the provision that ”utilities should conduct an open, non-discriminatory Competitive Procurement process that fairly considers both third-party and utility ownership structures, resource types or combinations of resource types, sizes/capacities, ancillary services, and cost reducing grid benefits with transparency on how they will be evaluated.” The guidelines also provide that all new long-term resources should be pursued through competitive procurements, and lay out the practices for how an independent body should administer or evaluate these processes.
Over the next few years, the MPSC staff will be surveying stakeholders on how the guidelines are working out and will file recommendations for modifications, if needed, by September 2026.
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Michigan Energy News
- Attorney General Dana Nessel is launching a listening tour to hear from the public about the impact of power outages.
- The root causes of Michigan’s reliability problems have to do with decades of insufficient tree trimming, Energy News Network reports.
- Tradion LLC, a Grand Haven-based startup, wants to integrate recycled batteries with home charging stations to provide a “virtual power plant inside people’s houses.”
- The Detroit News reports on how mechanics and trade schools are adjusting in response to the shift toward EVs.
- The group Ann Arbor for Public Power is working toward a ballot measure so Ann Arbor voters can decide whether or not to form a public utility.
- The city of Saginaw installs its first set of charging stations to attract EV drivers on their way to Northern Michigan.
National Energy News
- U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) talks about the Clean Electricity Payment Program she has proposed in the Senate.
- A new EV tax credit could be part of the $3.5 trillion social spending bill pending in Congress.
- The Illinois legislature passes a bill that will subsidize two nuclear power plants and stop their imminent closures.
- Energy Vault, the startup that is proposing harnessing gravity for long-duration energy storage, is going public through a SPAC merger.
- The Vineyard Wind project planned off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard becomes the first major offshore wind project to receive financing.
- A Massachusetts company is working on floating solar panel arrays in ponds and reservoirs.
We are debuting a new section of the newsletter for Michigan EIBC members to post job openings in advanced energy fields. If you have a job announcement you would like in the newsletter, please send a paragraph describing the position and a link to apply to Matt Bandyk at email@example.com. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.
Positions: Business Development Manager, Design Engineer, Construction Manager, South Bend, IN
Inovateus Solar is hiring for several positions in South Bend. Check out the company’s LinkedIn page for more information.
Position: Project Engineer, Novi, MI
NOVI Energy is growing, and they need your help. This month, they announced a joint venture with Osaka Gas USA to develop over 1000 MW of solar power generation facilities, enough solar and storage to power more than 150,000 homes with clean, affordable energy while creating good-paying jobs. This is one of several exciting projects NOVI Energy is developing! Learn more about their company and available Project Engineer positions. See open positions here.
Michigan and National Energy Events
The PlugVolt Battery Seminar 2021 in Plymouth, Mich., will feature an entire day of in-depth technical tutorials presented by world renowned professors from Top 50 US universities on Day 1, followed by Days 2 and 3 with industry subject matter experts presenting on Automotive and Stationary Storage applications respectively. Attendees will also get an exclusive opportunity to tour INTERTEK Battery Testing Center of Excellence in Plymouth, MI (USA). The seminar is scheduled for Oct. 5-7, and registration is open here.
The U.S. Energy Storage Association Annual Conference & Expo (#ESACon21) will convene December 1-3 in Phoenix to bring together buyers, sellers, investors, and leaders in the energy storage industry for an event focused on driving deals and business in the energy storage industry. The #ESACon21 is a must attend for anyone looking to expand their business, invest in, or develop partnerships in the energy storage industry. Learn more here.
Gov. Whitmer created the Council on Climate Solutions as an advisory body to help formulate and implement the MI Healthy Climate Plan. The council is holding a series of meetings throughout the year on various topics related to cutting Michigan’s CO2 emissions and recommending solutions for communities disproportionately affected by climate change. Go to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Office of Climate and Energy website to learn how to join these meetings.
Michigan EIBC national associate member Advanced Energy Economy is coordinating a public letter of support for the clean energy provisions in the Build Back Better legislation proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives. CEOs of advanced energy companies can support this effort by signing onto the letter by Friday September 24 at this link.
Michigan EIBC member Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University is now accepting applications for its C3 Accelerator. Apply here by Jan. 10, 2022. C3 is a growth stage Accelerator with up to $1.6M in funding in the form of grants, investments, and services to support the product development and scaling of Cleantech, Climatech, and Circular Economy technologies.
The Community Collaboration on Climate Change (C4) is seeking a full-time contract position to provide coordination of C4 leadership, organizational representatives, Grand Rapids residents, and the program deliverables.
State of Michigan DNR is going big in solar with projects in the ground, others in development and additional ones being planned. DNR has released a Request for Proposal for Prequalification Program for Renewable Energy PPAs: www.michigan.gov/sigmavss. Use “Guess Access” to get the RFP. A previous round of pre-qualifications netted solar companies that then were able to bid on a portfolio of DNR solar projects in Southwest Michigan. Another portfolio in the Northern Region is in the works for later this year. Only companies who pre-qualify can bid on future DNR solar projects. Please direct all correspondence to the Solicitation Manager, Laura Gyorkos at gyorkosL@michigan.gov
Consumers Energy Company is planning to seek competitive bids in response to a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) from participants in the MISO Energy Market in accordance with the Company’s Proposed Course of Action in its Integrated Resource Plan. Enel X North America, Inc. will administer the solicitation and anticipates formally releasing the upcoming RFP and associated documents late September 2021. Questions pertaining to this RFP or the proposal submittal process can be sent via email to Enel X by way of CECIA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lansing Board of Water and Light will issue a Request for Information for electricity storage by the end of September. Vendors can register here.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s PlanetM Testing Grant gives mobility companies the opportunity to access testing facilities around the state, including Mcity at the University of Michigan. Apply here.
The Detroit 2030 District is a free program that challenges Detroit building owners and managers to reduce wasted energy. Those that achieve the greatest reductions from the prior-year baseline will be recognized at the first annual Detroit Energy Challenge Award Ceremony in 2021. Visit 2030districts.org/Detroit to find out more information including how a building can apply.