Business Leaders talk Siting, Storage, Grids, and More at Michigan EIBC’s 6th Annual Member Meeting

On Monday, April 30, 2018, Michigan EIBC held its 6th Annual Member Meeting at the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol. This full-day conference provided over 200 attendees with an opportunity to network, learn about innovations in advanced energy, and get an overview on the latest policy developments.

In her opening remarks, Michigan EIBC president Liesl Eichler Clark took the opportunity to draw attention to Michigan EIBC’s new logo and website, both of which were released the day of the event. Clark also highlighted Michigan EIBC activities and successes over the last year including passage of a bill to extend PACE financing to methane digesters, quarterly Energy 101 Lunch and Learn events with legislators and members, and development of new topic-specific initiatives focused on wind, solar, corporate purchasers, and electric vehicles.

The event opened with mainstage discussion on grid modernization between Liesl Eichler Clark, president of Michigan EIBC, Consumers Energy’s Senior Vice President of Governmental, Regulatory, and Public Affairs, Brandon Hofmeister, and Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman Sally Talberg.

The opening conversation was followed by a set of breakout panels. Attendees had the opportunity to listen to a discussion on renewable energy siting moderated by Dr. Sarah Mills of the University of Michigan, with panelists including Dave Shiflett of Michigan EIBC member company Geronimo Energy, Franny Yuhas of Michigan EIBC member company Turning Point Energy, Matt Wagner of DTE Energy, and Steve Caminati of Michigan EIBC member company Apex Clean Energy.

At the same time, another panel across the hall featured Tom Stanton of the National Regulatory Research Institute, Kevin O’Connell of Michigan EIBC member company Michigan CAT, Lauren Flanagan of Michigan EIBC member company Sesame Solar, and Douglas Jester of Michigan EIBC member company 5 Lakes Energy.

The highlight came mid-day when keynote speaker Matt McGovern, CEO of Cypress Creek Renewables, led a Power Chat on Michigan’s solar industry in a national context.

After lunch, attendees got to choose between panels on “Powering Mobility” and “Demand Destruction.” The advanced mobility panel, moderated by MPSC Commissioner Norm Saari, featured Sarah Barbo of Consumers Energy, Britta Gross of General Motors, and Glenn Stevens of MICHauto. In the other room, David Gard of the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association moderated a panel discussion on energy efficiency featuring Alex Lopez of Michigan EIBC member company Oracle, Carla Walker-Miller of Walker-Miller Energy Servicesand board member of Michigan EIBC, and Kyle Peczynski of Michigan EIBC member company Petros Partners.

The next breakout session featured a panel on corporate demand for advanced energy, moderated by Dan Scripps of the Energy Foundation. The panel featured speakers Michelle Redfield of Michigan EIBC member company Schneider Electric, Rob Threlkeld of General Motors, Sam Hogg of Michigan EIBC Member Company Spartan Renewable Energy, and Adam Simon of the University of Michigan.

At the same time, Commissioner Rachael Eubanks of the MPSC was moderating a panel on commercial and residential energy storage with panelists Mia Adams of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), Ray Hohenstein of Fluence Energy, and Carmine Pizzurro of eCAMION.

The event closed with a media panel moderated by Dave Palsrok of Dykema on what the 2018 election could mean for energy policy. The panel featured as speakers Kyle Melinn of MIRS News, Andy Balaskovitz of Midwest Energy News, Emily Lawler of MLive, and Zach Gorchow of Gongwer.

The event was sponsored by Consumers Energy, Apex Clean Energy, CLEAResult, Invenergy, ITC, Michigan Agency for Energy, Southern Current, Clarke Energy, Dickinson Wright, Energy News Network, Geronimo Energy, Hemlock Semiconductor, Latham & Watkins, Michigan CAT, Spartan Renewable Energy, and Varnum.