- Newsletter (345)
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:
A Look Back at 2021
Here are some of the highlights of what Michigan EIBC was up to in 2021!
- Our 9th Annual Energy Innovators Conference featured SoCore Energy founder and Green Thumb Industries CEO Pete Kadens and BlocPower founder and CEO Donnel Baird.
- We welcomed three awesome new members of the Michigan EIBC team, Director of Research and Policy Grace Michienzi, Director of Membership and Events Brianna Gerard and Policy Associate Charlie Beauregard.
- We held the 9th Annual Energy Innovators Gala in Detroit, where we were joined by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II. Award winners included Michigan EIBC members Lean and Green Michigan and Sunrun, Ford, U.S. Rep. Andy Levin and state Reps. Greg Markkanen and Yousef Rabhi.
- Michigan EIBC membership continued to grow as we welcomed 30 new members.
- As Michigan considered updates to its building codes for the first time in years, Michigan EIBC and members pushed for changes that would move us more aggressively toward energy efficiency and electrification.
- One of our busiest policy areas this year was the electrification of mobility. Michigan EIBC VP Cory Connolly served throughout the year on the Council on Future Mobility and Electrification, which released its 2021 report in October. We drew attention to how effective deployment of federal investments into EV infrastructure can invigorate Michigan jobs, and participated in the MI Clean Future Coalition. Our 12th EV Convening also focused on how Michigan policymakers can make the most of new policies to develop EV infrastructure. Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman penned a piece in Automotive News that laid out the idea of a green mobility bank.
- We took a lot of steps to keep momentum behind the fight to remove Michigan’s distributed generation cap, including testimony at hearings, rallying people to contact their legislators about the bill, participating in a coalition of businesses and other organizations to eliminate the arbitrary limit on rooftop solar and penning an op-ed in the Lansing State Journal.
- With new legislation introduced to create a legal framework for community solar projects, Michigan EIBC and members told state lawmakers and an MPSC workgroup about the value of community solar and Laura Sherman wrote about the new bills in Renewable Energy World.
- Dr. Sherman’s Detroit News op-ed called out the utilities for opposing progress on rooftop solar and community solar as well as alternative ownership models for utility-scale projects.
- Michigan EIBC and members also advocated for legislation that would significantly expand commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing.
- Gov. Whitmer’s new Michigan Council on Climate Solutions, for which representatives of Michigan EIBC and Michigan EIBC members 5 Lakes Energy and Hemlock Semiconductor served as members, liaisons or chairs of advisory workgroups, began crafting the implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- We intervened in the integrated resource plan cases and rate cases filed by Consumers Energy and DTE to advocate for more renewable energy, storage and competitive procurement in the utilities’ long-term plans.
- Michigan EIBC and Advanced Energy Economy also intervened in the cases on the utilities’ voluntary green pricing programs. Results included a settlement with DTE that increased the affordability of the renewable energy offerings in the utility’s program by adding a competitive procurement process and a low-income solar pilot program.
- Our first Advanced Energy Workforce Convening featured discussions on how to improve diversity and address skills gaps for potential talent in our industries.
- Michigan EIBC worked to improve the utility competitive procurement process. Several improvements suggested by Michigan EIBC were included in the guidelines for competitive procurement that the MPSC ultimately approved.
- We intervened in Consumers Energy’s electric rate case, and Laura Sherman laid out steps to accelerate the utility’s EV charging programs to accommodate growing demand for EVs.
- As the problem of electric reliability took center stage amidst a surge in severe weather, Michigan EIBC participated in the debate over utility distribution grid plans and pushed for the use of performance-based regulation to enforce accountability onto utilities.
- Michigan EIBC’s series of Energy Storage Convenings continued, with events in June and October that examined the evolution of market opportunities for storage and the development of second-life opportunities and recycling for batteries.
- In an article for Renewable Energy World, Laura Sherman explained the importance of hybrid solar-plus-storage projects for the future of advanced energy in the Midwest.
- We responded back to the flurry of false claims that renewable energy was responsible for electric reliability problems in Texas and elsewhere.
- The Institute for Energy Innovation issued a report on solar philanthropy, Funding the Sun: Options for Michigan Philanthropy to Support Customer-sited Solar.
The newsletter will be taking a break next week, so we hope you enjoy the holiday season, and we will see you all in 2022!
Michigan Energy News
- The University of Michigan-led team of researchers announces it has developed a spray-on coating for solar panels that reduces snow and ice accumulation, improving energy generation in winter conditions by up to 85%.
- Gov. Whitmer signs Senate Bill 103, which would give incumbent utilities the right of first refusal to build transmission lines in their service territories, into law.
- After the state legislature passes the economic incentive package, attention may now turn to Michigan’s industrial electricity rates and their impact on the state’s economic competitiveness.
National Energy News
- The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) is closing in on finalizing a plan to split into northern and southern regions for cost-allocation purposes to avoid interregional disagreements that stymie transmission projects.
- Advanced metering infrastructure has grown at about 4% to 5% annually since 2016, and now about 65% of electricity meters around the country are “smart” meters, according to a report.
- The majority of auto industry executives around the world believe that EVs will make up more than half of all new vehicle sales in the U.S., Japan and China by 2030, according to a survey by KPMG.
Attention Michigan EIBC members: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.
“As a senior retro-commissioning engineer with Energy Sciences, you will join our team of degreed and licensed engineers, scientists, and energy efficiency professionals to meet the energy use challenges of commercial and industrial facilities. We’re looking for experienced and talented technical team members to assist our clients, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, in making their building systems work, identifying energy-savings opportunities, reducing waste, and saving operating cost. You will play a key role in a growing company that is dedicated to driving our vision of a sustainable and socially responsible energy future, working in an exciting, collaborative environment.”
Foresight is hiring for these and other positions. Visit the Careers page here.
“Support NextEnergy’s Mobility practice through the execution of programs designed to accelerate smart, clean, accessible solutions for communities and cities under the leadership of the Director, Technology Development. You’ll work with technology companies, business stakeholders, public agencies, and NextEnergy partners to launch and manage demonstrations of technologies that help demonstrate and commercialize next-generation mobility technologies and business models.”
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.
SunPower is seeking a Senior Associate, Market Development and Policy, to advocate on SunPower’s behalf on state policy with various public service commissions, state legislatures, and state agencies to drive residential, commercial and community solar and energy storage adoption in the Midwest U.S., particularly in Illinois and Michigan. The successful candidate must be a self-starter, comfortable working remotely, and have experience navigating various regulatory dockets, reviewing public comments, and summarizing state legislation. Frequent travel within the Midwest region may be required at times. Location is flexible, although presence in Illinois is preferred.
Michigan and National Energy Events
On Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) will host its second Annual Summit: To 5 Million and Beyond: Community Solar’s Pathway to Success. Register now for the annual summit.
The U.S. Department of Energy has an opportunity for $105 million in funding for small businesses that are working to deploy clean energy technologies. “This funding opportunity is open to small businesses that have previously received SBIR or STTR grants to provide additional opportunities to compete for funding to develop working prototypes of their discoveries,” according to the DOE. Letters of intent for this funding opportunity are due Jan. 3, 2022.
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 Federal Highway Administration is seeking comments on the implementation of its EV Charging Program. Find more information here. Comments are due Jan. 28, 2022.
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.
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.