Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe to Keynote Michigan EIBC Conference, Gov. Whitmer Features EVs in State of the State Address

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:

Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe to Keynote Michigan EIBC’s 8th Annual Energy Innovators Conference

 We are pleased to announce Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe as the keynote speaker of Michigan EIBC’s 8th Annual Energy Innovators Conference on April 22 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing.

Poppe has notably supported greater investments into renewable energy and efficiency rather than building more fossil fuel-burning power plants. “Given that we have the opportunity of a generation to determine how we’ll replace these big central power plants, we’ll replace them with modular renewables because it’s smarter,” Poppe said in a recent speech.

Early bird discount tickets for the Energy Innovators Conference are still available, but only through Jan. 31st! Get tickets here. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Find more information here.

Poppe held a variety of automotive management positions and served as power plant director at Detroit, Michigan based DTE Energy before returning to her hometown of Jackson to join Consumers Energy in 2011.

Poppe earned a master’s degree in management from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University.

As President and Chief Executive Officer, Poppe has focused on connecting the company more closely with its customers and adapting lean operating system principles throughout the utility. She also has led the company’s commitment to a triple bottom line in service of people, the planet and prosperity. At a time of unprecedented change in the energy industry, Poppe has helped to uniquely position CMS Energy and Consumers Energy into a clean and lean company able to act as a world class performer delivering hometown service.

Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman Writes On The Benefits of a Competitive Energy Market

Michigan has a vibrant community of businesses and organizations working in renewable energy, storage, efficiency and other advanced energy fields. But that environment does not come about without the right policies and regulations, and in a new article on Energy News Network Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman writes about how to create and maintain that competitive environment.

Read the full piece about best practices for competition in Michigan and how they tie into DTE Energy’s pending integrated resource plan.

Gov. Whitmer Touts Progress in Electric Vehicles in Michigan State of the State Address

In her 2020 State of the State Address on Jan. 29, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said that EVs are “securing Michigan’s pole position in innovation” and creating thousands of jobs.

Several days earlier, the governor gave a speech at General Motors’ Hamtramck plant, where GM is investing $2.2 billion. The Hamtramck plant will produce a variety of EVs, including GM’s first all-electric pickup truck. The investment in this plant is part of GM’s broader strategy, which assumes that “we have to plan for an electric portfolio to eventually become the standard,” as GM President Mark Reuss said in a recent interview.

Gov. Whitmer previously addressed innovation in Michigan’s energy sector in her keynote speech at Michigan EIBC’s 7th Annual Energy Innovators Gala in November 2019. 

Renewing Members

EVolution Electric Vehicle Systems, LLC
EVolution Electric Vehicle Systems, LLC provides electric vehicle charging infrastructure, on and off vehicle high voltage battery charging products, and a wide variety of components for electric vehicle charging. EVolution EVS works with customers throughout the State of Michigan and across USA through their affiliation with ClipperCreek providing level 2 EV charging infrastructure for all applications from basic home charging station to the most advanced networked EV charging systems for commercial EV fleets and high density public parking lots also with a focus on providing market leading value and product reliability. We have been increasingly involved in the expanding technologies involved with EV charging including Vehicle to Grid, EV battery re-purposing, Solar energy storage, EV charger energy monitoring and advanced load management.

Michigan Solar Solutions
Michigan Solar Solutions was established in 2008. MSS has earned an excellent reputation for designing, selling, servicing and installing solar electric systems for homes, businesses, commercial buildings and municipalities.

Michigan State University
Sustainability is a Spartan Priority. Our land grant roots power our vision for the future. Established in 1855 as the nation’s pioneer land-grant university and Michigan’s first agricultural college, MSU was called upon to address growing areas of concern in the country: education, agriculture, infrastructure and science. Today, MSU’s 5,200 acre campus is still home to leading research, as well as cutting-edge technologies, award-winning programs and thousands of Spartans working to make a difference every day – addressing sustainability challenges across all disciplines. With dynamic facilities like the South Campus Anaerobic Digester, the Student Organic Farm and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, MSU continues to serve as a beacon for innovative leaders who want to use their educational experience to shape the solutions of tomorrow. MSU continues to set a standard of sustainability excellence for universities globally: by eliminating the use of coal at the T.B. Simon Power Plant in 2016, building that largest solar covered parking area in the nation and continuing to invest in student research, cross-disciplinary partnerships and expanded building efficiencies.
Spartans are at the forefront of discovery, building on a foundation of strong core values to deliver high-impact results to the campus community and beyond. Guided by a powerful vision and mission, MSU strives to enable Spartans to conduct this important work on a campus that delivers on efficiency and innovation.

Public Sector Consultants
For virtually every important public policy issue—but especially in education, energy and the environment, health, and community and economic development—we are Michigan’s go-to public policy firm.

We work closely with our clients to help them achieve innovative solutions to the problems they face. Sometimes clients look to us to conduct impartial research on tough topics. Sometimes they need us to implement and manage new programs. Sometimes they seek our facilitation skills on hot-button issues. Other times they want us to evaluate their programs and help make improvements. Whether our clients need one, some, or all of these services, our goal is to assist them in obtaining the best possible results.

Ranger Power
Ranger Power is a solar energy development company. Led by an experienced team, the company is committed to working closely with landowners to bring new bring new investment and clean energy to their communities.

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

  • Gov. Whitmer praises GM at a speech at the Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing facility, where GM is investing $2.2 billion to produce EVs.
  • GM President Mark Reuss said that the EVs from the Hamtramck plant will come off the assembly line as profitable “from day one.”
  • Several groups praise the Michigan Public Service Commission reducing the rate request for Indiana Michigan Power.
  • blog post from the Union of Concerned Scientists reviews the records of Midwest governors on energy, and finds that Gov. Whitmer has an opportunity to seize on her progress made thus far.
  • BorgWarner, an Auburn Hills-based automotive components supplier, is acquiring a rival, Delphi Technologies PLC, for $3.3 billion in order to increase its competitive edge in the electrification of transportation.
  • The University of Michigan says it is making progress in its goals to make its campus more energy-efficient.

National Energy News

  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy unveils a plan to move his state toward 100% clean energy by 2050.
  • Several Virginia advocacy groups are pushing for a plan to replace diesel school buses with all-electric buses that is more aggressive than other proposals in the state.
  • Blockchain technology is finding a market in verifying certificates of origin for renewable energy flows.
  • Many cities around the country have launched workforce development programs to train workers for jobs in energy efficiency.
  • Lordstown Motors wants a $200 million federal government loan to help produce electric pickup trucks at the former GM Lordstown assembly plant.
  • Dairy farmers are seeing a “new gold rush” from selling biogas production as a renewable resource.

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.

On Feb. 24 Michigan EIBC is holding a Networking Meeting at Phoenix Contact’s Ann Arbor office for a tour and discussion of e-mobility and technology. Please get tickets here.

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.

National Energy Events

Infocast’s Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit is in San Diego from Feb. 4 to Feb. 6, 2020.

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.