Announcing Michigan EIBC’s New President…

LANSING – The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC) today announced Dr. Laura Sherman will take the helm as the new president. Dr. Sherman follows former president, Liesl Eichler Clark, who has taken on a new role as the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for the state of Michigan.

“As a membership organization focused on the rapidly changing energy industry, we are at an important inflection point,” said Lauren Bigelow, Michigan EIBC’s Board Chair. “We’re really excited to have Laura at the helm, and her extensive academic, policy and regulatory background along with her leadership and business development will allow us to continue as the leading voice for advanced energy businesses in Michigan.”

Michigan EIBC is a trade organization of more than 120 companies doing business in Michigan’s vibrant advanced energy sector. The organization’s mission is to grow the state’s advanced energy economy by fostering opportunities for innovation and business growth and offering a unified voice to policy makers toward the creation of a business-friendly environment.

“I am truly honored to be chosen to lead the EIBC, especially at such a critical time for the advanced energy industry,” said Sherman. “I look forward to hitting the ground running in my new role to grow the organization while helping our members expand the advanced energy sector across Michigan.”

Prior to accepting the role of Michigan EIBC President, Dr. Sherman most recently served as the organization’s vice president for policy development. In that capacity, she supported Michigan EIBC’s policy platform, including ongoing regulatory engagement at the Michigan Public Service Commission, policy initiatives, and legislative efforts. Laura is also a senior consultant with 5 Lakes Energy where she focuses on renewable energy development and community engagement.

Before joining 5 Lakes Energy and Michigan EIBC, Dr. Sherman served as the policy advisor to Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) on energy, agriculture, and environment issues. In that capacity, Dr. Sherman led a team in Washington, D.C. and Colorado to develop legislation, analyze policy issues, and negotiate bipartisan solutions. She was involved in crafting the 2015 extensions of the renewable tax credits, advancing federal initiatives on building energy efficiency, and supporting land conservation efforts.

Dr. Sherman received a B.S. in Geological and Environmental Science from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the University of Michigan. Her graduate and postdoctoral research utilized novel techniques to trace mercury pollution from sources like coal-fired power plants into rainfall and aquatic ecosystems across the Great Lakes Region.

As the new leader of Michigan EIBC, Dr. Sherman is dedicated to working with members and stakeholders to advance the policy priorities of the advanced energy industry in Michigan. Learn more about Michigan EIBC at

“Plugging into Energy Storage” in Michigan

On Monday, Michigan EIBC participated in an event on the future of energy storage in Michigan. “Plugging Into Storage,” an event hosted by the Michigan Agency for Energy and the Michigan Public Service Commission, brought together experts, industry leaders, and regulators for a day-long conversation on the benefits, challenges, and overall potential of energy storage in Michigan. The event was driven by Michigan Senate Resolution 170 and the Michigan House of Representatives Resolution 387, which were passed in 2018 and directed the Michigan Agency for energy to engage in a collaborative discussion on energy storage.

Interest in the event was substantial. More than 150 people registered for the event and the room remained full from 9am to the end of the event at 4:30pm. Michigan EIBC was well represented, with more than a dozen members in attendance and numerous presenters. 

The event started with a comprehensive explanation of the basics of energy storage technologies and applications for the audience from Jeremy Twitchell of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Michigan EIBC member company ITC was featured on the first panel of the day, which was a conversation on the key considerations for integrating energy storage into Michigan’s energy mix moderated by Commissioner Dan Scripps. After lunch, Michigan EIBC members Invenergy and NRStor spoke on a panel about the practical applications of solar, using real-world examples.

Later, Cory Connolly of Michigan EIBC and Douglas Jester of 5 Lakes Energy spoke about the Institute for Energy Innovation’s recent work exploring the application of energy storage in the Michigan utility planning process. This work will be shared via the Institute for Energy Innovation website upon completion. 

The day concluded with a practical conversation moderated by Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman Sally Talberg on what Michigan can do to move forward. Tactics discussed included legislation as well as an additional focus on energy storage at the commission across multiple proceedings.  

A full agenda for the event can be found here.  

New Members

Clark Hill PLC
Clark Hill is a multidisciplinary, international law firm that draws on our attorneys’ comprehensive industry and policy knowledge and a global network of industry advisors and subject-matter experts to provide innovative legal solutions and client-service excellence worldwide.

Clark Hill’s Energy Law & Utilities team has more than 100 years of collective experience in all areas of energy law, utility regulation and deregulation, and project development. We have represented large industrial corporations, small businesses, trade groups, power producers, municipal utilities, lenders and individual investors across the spectrum of energy issues and in negotiations with public utilities.

Our Energy Law & Utilities practice group counsels clients from coast to coast with respect to regulatory matters arising before state public utility commissions. At the federal level, our lawyers have represented applicants and interveners in rate filings, certificate proceedings, rulemakings and other proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

NRStor Inc.
NRStor is a market leader in understanding energy storage technologies, their costs, and the benefits they can provide customers across the energy supply chain. As a project developer, we develop, own and operate industry-leading energy storage projects in partnership with progressive stakeholders and leading technology providers.
Our goals are to:
– Accelerate the commercialization of energy storage technologies
– Provide industry leading solutions and service to our customers
– Promote energy reliability, flexibility and sustainability
– Think differently and inspire positive change on the electric grid, and
– Generate profits with a purpose

Trajectory Energy Partners
Trajectory Energy Partners brings together communities, organizations, and landowners to develop clean energy projects with strong local support.

Renewing Members

Geronimo Energy
Geronimo Energy is a leading independent North American renewable energy development company based in Minneapolis, MN. Geronimo provides renewable electric energy development solutions for utilities, Independent Power Producers (IPPs), corporations and public entities looking to harness renewable energy for business growth. With deep and comprehensive expertise in wind and solar energy development, Geronimo’s resume boasts over 1,600 megawatts of U.S. wind and solar energy projects that are either operational or under construction. Geronimo’s near term development pipeline has an aggregate nameplate capacity exceeding 2,000 megawatts of additional clean energy. Our Mission We seek to leave the world a better place than it was before we touched it: environmentally, through the deployment of clean and renewable energy in our communities, through economic development for our employees, through personal improvement and pride in what we do for our shareholders, through profitable operations Our Philosophy Farmer-Friendly / adj: / exhibiting a respect and appreciation for hardworking farmers, their communities, and the rural American way of life. Geronimo was founded with deep roots in agriculture and an understanding and respect for farming practices. As landowner advocates, the Geronimo development team is dedicated to improving the productivity of our landowners’ properties by introducing our host communities to the benefits of renewable energy.

Homeland Solar
Homeland Solar’s mission is to make owning one’s own power EASY and AFFORDABLE for individuals and organizations, public and private, commercial and residential.

The company is an engineering, design and installation firm with a great professional reputation and a strong commitment to working with its customers to optimize energy solutions.  Trust, reliability and economy are its hallmarks.
Solar systems can be regarded as Mother Nature’s gift of sustainability to our pale blue dot.  Why not own your own power and support sustainability? Start by sending your utility bill to estimate@homelandsolar.comor call 844-9-own-sun. Thank you.

Pivot Energy
Pivot Energy is a Denver-based solar energy company that is focused on helping accelerate the rapid transition taking place in the energy industry toward power generation that is cleaner, and more decentralized. Pivot offers a distributed energy platform that includes a range of services and software aimed at serving the full commercial solar ecosystem, including retail customers, project developers, system operators, utilities, and financiers. The company develops, finances, builds, and manages community and commercial solar projects around the country. Pivot operates on a triple bottom line basis, measuring success by the positive impact to people, planet, and profit. Learn more at

Toggled is a next-generation solid-state lighting technology company. Formed in 2007 with initial products based on Altair’s intellectual property for the direct replacement of fluorescent tubes with light emitting diode (LED) lamps. With national consumer product distribution, toggled is at the forefront of bringing the latest LED technologies to market.

Walker-Miller Energy Services
Founded in 2000, Walker-Miller Energy Services (WMES) is a woman & minority-owned urban energy waste reduction company focusing on empowering people and enriching communities. We achieve that by providing an exceptional experience to our customers, our team members and the communities in which we serve. Our talented team of Certified Energy Managers (CEM), BPI Certified Energy Analysts, LEED accredited Professionals, Building Analysts, and internal support staff have been delivering energy efficiency services for nearly two decades.  

Michigan Energy News

  • Consumers Energy is planning the Jackson Smart Energy District to help test innovative concepts and to invest in its local community. “We are excited to add to the comeback story of our city, which is home to our headquarters, and help Jackson continue to attract new development,” said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy’s chief executive.
  • Residents that want to weigh in on wind energy creation within the city of Escanaba will be able to do so April 4, when the city holds a public hearing on a newly drafted wind energy ordinance.
  • Elected officials, clean energy experts and community members convened last week for a town hall event at Grand Valley State University’s Loosemore Auditorium to discuss Michigan’s transition to clean energy.
  • Michigan utility Consumers Energy has filed a clean energy plan with state regulators that includes a promise to add 5 gigawatts of solar through competitive bidding by 2030, as part of its goal to cut carbon emissions by 90 percent and phase out all of its coal-fired power by 2040.
  • And, in a change from its first solar proposal filed last year, Consumers has included a 50-50 split between utility and third-party financing of its massive new solar goal.
  • A former National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners member says Michigan should explore more renewable energy but says the state needs “base load” fossil fuels to support reliability.
  • U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan calls for a “green industrial revolution”with investments in renewable energy and electric vehicles.
  • General Motors plans to invest $300 million to build a new electric vehicle at a Michigan factory.
  • Owing to the size of the wind project across five townships, Isabella County formally established two separate funds last week to make sure that taxpayers weren’t stuck paying to make sure the windmills comply with the county’s zoning ordinance. Money for both funds came from the project’s developers.
  • Researchers at Michigan Technological University say the state’s investor-owned utilities “manipulate” regulatory and political systems to their benefit and the detriment of ratepayers.
  • Consumers Energy has reached an agreement with a broad coalition of advocates on the utility’s long-term clean energy transition, weeks after the plan was in jeopardy due to disputes over key provisions.
  • After weeks of criticism over its U.S. manufacturing cuts, General Motors said Friday it plans to spend $300 million to build a new electric car at its Orion Assembly Plant north of Detroit and provided a vigorous defense of its U.S. manufacturing commitment.
  • Lansing, Michigan, looks to become the state’s first municipality to power city buildings with renewable energy.

National Energy News

  • Massachusetts legislators consider a bill that would make it easier for local retirement systems to divest from fossil fuels.
  • The amount of renewable electricity generated in the U.S. doubled over the last decade, with almost all of the growth coming from wind and solar.
  • A developer is chosen for a 1.4 MW solar project atop a Manhattan convention center, which will be the largest rooftop array in New York City.
  • ComEd tests the potential of off-grid street lights powered by wind, solar and battery storage in Chicago.
  • A recent survey shows U.S. residents would prefer to live near wind turbines than a hypothetical fossil fuel plant.
  • Spin,  the electric scooter startup that Ford bought earlier this year for around $100 million, is gearing up to launch in 100 cities by the end of the year.
  • Last week, US Representatives announced a new Advanced Energy Storage Caucus along with a package of battery storage bills previously introduced at the end of 2018 in the last Congress. While the bills do not include tax incentives, they are expected to enable storage to increase grid reliability and boost renewable energy.
  • Locally generated wind and solar could replace nearly all U.S. coal plants by 2025 for less than the cost of operating those plants, according to a new analysis by clean energy research groups.
  • Locally generated solar and wind energy could already replace almost three-fourths of electricity made by U.S. coal plants for less than the cost of continuing to operate those plants, according to an analysis released today by two clean energy research groups.
  • By 2025, the share of “at risk” coal generation will jump from 74 percent to 86 percent, says a  report by Energy Innovation Policy & Technology in San Francisco and Boulder-based Vibrant Clean Energy.
  • Puerto Rico passed a 100% renewable energy bill. The bill, expected to be signed by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló​, would ban coal plants by 2028 while setting a 2050 target for going fully renewable.

Michigan Energy Events  

The Michigan Energy Office is sponsoring four sessions on agricultural solar energy development in Michigan hosted by Michigan State University Extension. Click here to register for a meeting. Remaining sessions will take place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. as follows:

  • March 28: AgroLiquid Conference Center, 2055 W M-21, St. Johns, MI 48879
  • April 10: Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center, E3774 University Dr., Chatham, MI 49816

April 16-18, attend the Midwest Renewable Energy Summit in Chicago, Illinois.

The Michigan Energy Office will host an electric vehicle ride and drive on Wednesday, April 17, in Lansing. The event will take place at the Michigan Agency for Energy, 7109 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing. A food truck is also scheduled to be present from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m

Join the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council for its 7th Annual Member Meeting, featuring cutting-edge energy topics including the convergence of distributed technologies and new load growth. April 23 in East Lansing, MI. Register today!

Members Only: Michigan EIBC members are invited to join us in downtown Lansing on Wednesday, April 24 for Lobby Day. During Lobby Day, Michigan EIBC staff, members, and our lobby team at Dykema meet one-on-one with Michigan State Legislators and their staff to discuss current and future issues for the advanced energy industry.

On Thursday, May 2nd from 8am-2pm, member company Lean & Green Michigan is hosting a PACE Summit at the IBEW Local 58 Zero Net Energy facility in Detroit. Register here.

Michigan EIBC will be hosting it’s 7th EV Convening in Lansing at the Michigan Municipal League on May 3rd. Register here.

Save the date for the U.P. Energy Summit on Friday, June 14 at Northern Michigan University. Free to attend. Additional details will be made available on the U.P. Energy Summit website.

The IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference & Expo (ITEC) will be held in Novi, MI. 19-21 June 2019. (ITEC’19) is aimed at helping the industry in the transition from conventional vehicles to advanced electrified vehicles.

National Energy Events    

The Solar Power Finance & Investment Summit is March 19-21 in San Diego.
Attend the Midwest Renewable Energy Summit on April 16-18, 2019, in Chicago, IL.

Announcements and Opportunities   

Help the Energy Foundation find the right person to serve as its Program Director, Midwest Policy, driving policies that will lead the region to a prosperous and healthy future powered by clean, reliable, and secure sources of energy.