Action On Distributed Generation Legislation Coming Up; E-Mobility Tour in Ann Arbor

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:


Distributed Generation Legislative Effort Is Making Moves In Lansing

The Powering Michigan Forward legislative package introduced last fall to address problems facing Michigan’s distributed generation sector is making important progress. Michigan EIBC needs help from its members and everyone who cares about solar energy jobs to tell state representatives to support this legislation (send a letter here).

The three bills that make up Powering Michigan Forward will be the subject of a hearing before the Michigan Senate Energy and Technology Committee on Feb. 11. This hearing is a key step before the bills can be voted on.

The hearing comes soon after the Powering Michigan Forward Lobby Day on Feb. 5. Michigan EIBC members met with key legislators throughout the day to explain why the bills’ goals — lifting the cap on distributed generation, eliminating the confusing distributed generation tariff, and creating fair compensation for distributed generation users — will allow the solar industry to keep growing and adding new jobs and help residents and businesses across the state to have greater access to their own sources of energy.

The Lobby Day included a meeting with Rep. Yousef Rabhi, one of the bill sponsors, pictured above.

You can send a personal message to your representatives telling them to support Powering Michigan Forward by following this link

Explore E-Mobility and Smart Vehicle Technology In Ann Arbor

A recent Institute for Energy Innovation report highlighted the fact that EVs are the ideal platform for the advanced mobility software that will revolutionize how we drive. The electrification of transportation and technologies to enable automated, smart, and connected vehicles are inextricably linked. 

Phoenix Contact is a leading company at the intersection of advanced mobility and the electrification of transportation, and on Feb. 24 Michigan EIBC is offering an opportunity to see the company’s work up close at Phoenix Contact’s Ann Arbor facility. 

Phoenix Contact designs a variety of devices used for connection and automation technology in many different industries. In the area of electromobility, the company develops the technology that allows for quick-charging of EVs, systems related to vehicle communications and more.

The Feb. 24 networking and lunch event will include a tour of the company’s Ann Arbor facility, as well as a presentation on the University of Michigan’s research into automated and connected vehicles from Debby Bezzina of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Please register here for the event, which lasts from 11am to 1pm.

Michigan EGLE Names Robert Jackson As Energy Ombudsman

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) has announced that Robert Jackson, Assistant Division Director in the Materials Management Division at EGLE, is the next Energy Ombudsman.

According to EGLE, “as ombudsman, Jackson will be the contact for small businesses and individuals in Michigan looking to resolve energy issues, problems or disputes.” “He also will monitor issues such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, combined heat and power, distributed generation, and on-bill financing to keep stakeholders appraised of developments by regulatory entities.”

Reka Holley, currently the Michigan Public Service Commission’s legislative liaison, was the previous Energy Ombudsman.

Register for 8th Annual Energy Innovators Conference on April 22; Sponsorships Available

Please join Michigan EIBC on Wednesday, April 22 for the 8th Annual Energy Innovators Conference (formerly Annual Member Meeting) at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing. The keynote speaker is Patti Poppe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jackson, Michigan-based CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility and the nation’s fourth largest combination utility.

Event Sponsors

Terawatt Level



Gigawatt Level


Megawatt Level

Kilowatt Level

New National Associate Member

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is the national trade association for the U.S. wind industry. AWEA’s 1,000 member companies represent the forefront of the wind energy industry, including: project developers, parts manufacturers, utilities, and researchers. AWEA also holds conferences across the nation to provide venues for innovators and advocates within the energy industry to network and learn from each other’s experiences.
AWEA works with policy makers to: share information and best practices on wind energy, and highlight wind energy’s contributions to a safe, reliable, and affordable electricity grid. To learn more about our work near you, visit: tickets here. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

New Member

Development Solutions Midwest LLC
Development Solutions Midwest LLC provides services which lead to reducing our clients energy costs. We help reduce energy use through; energy purchasing costs; energy audits; strategic energy plans; ISO 50001; utility incentives; and project management.


Renewing Members

Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage, and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.

Warner Norcross & Judd
The firm provides client-focused, proactive legal and business counsel to clients of all sizes – from startups to Fortune 500 companies to closely held businesses and high net worth individuals. With more than 230 attorneys working in 14 industry groups and 27 specialized practice areas, Warner can meet the legal needs of clients operating throughout North America and around the world.


Michigan Energy News

  • Michigan must take the lead on EV auto production, according to an opinion piece from the senior resident fellow for clean energy economy at Third Way.
  • Community acceptance and access to grid interconnection were two key factors leading Michigan EIBC member Ranger Power to look at a site in Montcalm County for its planned 1,200-acre Freshwater Solar project.
  • U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) talks with Energy News Network about policy support for EVs and more.
  • Michigan policymakers are considering different approaches for the future of renewable energy in Michigan after the state’s renewable portfolio standard law levels off in 2021.
  • Ford’s luxury brand Lincoln is working with Rivian on an all-new electric vehicle.
  • Michigan EIBC member POWERHOME Solar installs a 428-panel array at LaFontaine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Fenton, providing the dealership with an estimated 180,000 kWh of solar energy annually.

National Energy News

  • Generate Capital, Inc. secures over $1 billion in funding to allow it to continue building, financing and operating sustainable infrastructure like battery storage, energy efficiency and fuel cells.
  • Minnesota lawmakers consider whether or not to require 100% clean energy by 2050.
  • Companies are trying to figure out how to address the problem of wind turbine blades, which cannot be recycled, piling up in landfills.
  • New York state is making formal moves to procure up to 2.5 GW of offshore wind capacity this year.
  • A California company is working on batteries for energy storage that do not contain cobalt.
  • In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed five technologies for eliminating cobalt from lithium-ion batteries that are now being licensed by an energy storage start-up.

Michigan Energy Events

Michigan Energy Options’ Winter Solar Webinar Series continues with Gretchen Bakke, PhD, author of The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future, discussing the transmission and distribution grid on Feb. 20.

Michigan State University’s Institute of Public Utilities is holding the 15th Annual Michigan Forum on Economic Regulatory Policy, a one-day conference that makes participants eligible for continuing education credits, on Feb. 21.

The Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association’s 6th Annual Banquet & Awards Celebration will be on March 12 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing. Tickets are available here.On July 21-23, 2020 PlugVolt will be hosting its next Battery Seminar in Plymouth, MI (USA), featuring an entire day of in-depth technical tutorials presented by renowned professors from several 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 A123 Systems’ new Novi, Michigan (USA) facility.

National Energy Events

The CLEANPOWER 2020 expo, organized by the American Wind Energy Association, will be in Denver from June 1 to 4, 2020. See registration options now.


 The United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service is seeking applications for its Rural Energy for America Program, which makes loan guarantees and grants available for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, energy audits and more. The deadlines to apply for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants are Oct. 31, 2019, and March 31, 2020, while applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. Find out more here.

The Michigan Energy Office’s Small Manufacturers Energy Waste Reduction Incentive Pilot is offering rebates of up to $15,000 per company for small manufacturers that can implement energy efficiency activities between Oct. 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020. There is a 100% minimum match requirement. Click here to learn more about eligibility and apply.