Consumers Energy IRP, Federal Infrastructure Plan: This Week in Advanced Energy News

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:

In Memory: Alec Esparza

We are saddened to learn that Alec Esparza of Michigan EIBC member Public Sector Consultants passed away suddenly on June 25 while assisting others in an auto accident. 

“Alec was a mainstay in our community, came to all of our events and was an all around wonderful person,” Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman said.

All of us at Michigan EIBC and IEI offer our condolences to Alec’s family and friends. If you wish, you can support the following charities designated in Alec’s memory:

Climate Emergency Fund
Clean Air Task Force

Source. Licensed under CC Attribute 2.0.

Consumers Says New IRP Positions It for Net-Zero by 2040

 Consumers Energy said it is “well-positioned” to achieve the goal of net-zero emissions by 2040 “by continuing the efforts to support research and development, technology solutions to enhance operational flexibility of a dynamic electric system created by intermittent resources and demand-side management programs,” according to the company’s new integrated resource plan (IRP) filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on June 30.

The plan lays out Consumers Energy’s strategy to meet customer needs through 2040, and, as previously announced by the utility, accelerates coal plant retirements while largely replacing that generation through the purchase of natural gas-fired power plants in addition to expanded investments in solar, demand response and energy waste reduction. The IRP targets the addition of new renewable energy resources at higher levels than in the  Consumers Energy’s 2018 IRP including nearly 8,000 MW of solar by 2040. In the near-term, solar, battery storage, energy waste reduction measures and demand response will be used to replace a 1,240-MW power contract with the Midland Cogeneration Venture facility that is assumed to be expiring in 2030.

In the last IRP, Michigan EIBC and other groups struck a settlement with Consumers Energy in which the company agreed to a competitive solicitation process for procuring new renewable energy projects. The new IRP proposes continuing that competitive process. The company, however, proposes some changes to this process, including an increase in Company-ownership of renewable resources. Michigan EIBC will be participating in the process on behalf of our members to ensure that these competitive processes are fair, open, transparent, and allow for different ownership models.  

Federal Energy Infrastructure Investments In Flux

As we all wait for what will actually get enacted as a result of infrastructure negotiations in Washington, the Institute of Energy Innovation is leading a team of Midwest energy policy experts to help states understand and be prepared for what could be the largest federal investment in energy in U.S. history with efforts including a webinar held June 25 about how the Midwest can access federal funding opportunities.

The recent crafting of a Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, in which much of the infrastructure provisions from the original $2 trillion proposal were carved out into a separate infrastructure bill with the rest of the proposal to be pursued later, has made many stakeholders in the advanced energy and clean energy world concerned that the provisions they care most about will be lost in the shuffle.

Here is what the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, as it stands based on the most recent reports, would do for advanced energy, 

-$73 billion for the power grid, including “thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy” and the creation of a new Grid Authority, according to a White House fact sheet. The original American Jobs Plan had proposed $100 billion for the grid. But the $73 billion provision would still be “the single largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history,” the White House said.

-$7.5 billion for a network of EV charging stations with the aim to achieve the White House goal of building 500,000 chargers. The original proposal was $174 billion for EV-related spending, including rebates for consumers to purchase EVs and electrifying the federal fleet.

-$7.5 billion for electric buses and transit.

-$47 billion to increase the reliance of infrastructure to the effects of climate change.

The legislation is still subject to change, and it is unclear how many of the provisions left out of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will make it into followup legislation. 

Join Us In-Person for the 9th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on Sept. 14

 We’re excited to network in-person and celebrate individuals and businesses who have worked to grow Michigan’s advanced energy sector in 2021. Advanced energy business leaders & experts, legislators, regulators, state government officials, and other key decision-makers will be in attendance. Join the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council as we celebrate on September 14th, 2021 at The Eastern, Detroit, Mich. 

Keynote speaker and additional details/ticket sales to come in the following weeks.  

Annual awards will be presented at the Innovators Gala. We invite Michigan EIBC members to submit nominations, via link here, for the following categories:
Project of the Year
Business of the Year
Public Official of the Year
Energy Innovators Hall of Fame
 Nominations close the end of business on Wednesday, July 7th, 2021.

We also invite you to become a sponsor of this premier annual event. Sponsors will benefit from networking with a broad range of industry leaders from renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, and the utility sector. Sponsorship opportunities and benefits can be found here

Please contact Brianna Gerard, Director of Membership & Events, to reserve your sponsorship spot:

Event Sponsors

Gigawatt Level

Megawatt Level

Kilowatt Level

The Watt Level

Michigan Energy News

  • “For communities like Detroit, rooftop solar development is an opportunity to improve air quality, increase grid reliability, lower energy costs, and grow local, skilled trade jobs,” Catherine Diggs of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice and Dianne Van Buren of Michigan EIBC member D2 Solar said in an op-ed about the need to lift the cap on distributed generation.
  • General Motors announced a fund to help communities and people more likely to experience impacts from climate change.
  • The Consumers Energy IRP, if approved, will make the company’s electric capacity 60% renewable by 2040, Consumers Energy President and CEO Garrick Rochow writes.
  • MPSC Commissioner Katherine Peretick is reappointed to the commission for a term lasting until July 2027.
  • DTE spins its natural gas pipeline business into a new publicly-traded company, DT Midstream.
  • Global waste solutions provider Brightmark is building three “renewable natural gas” facilities in Michigan.

National Energy News

  • A developer proposing a new transmission line connecting wind resources in Iowa to the PJM wholesale electricity market challenges PJM’s rules on merchant transmission projects, arguing they “constrain[s] the ability of innovative transmission projects… to pursue market-driven opportunities.”
  • Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) introduces the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, which would provide production tax credits for U.S. manufacturers at every stage of the solar supply chain.
  • Above-normal peak temperatures place essentially the entire western U.S. at elevated risk of power disruptions, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
  • California considers legislation to cut emissions used in cement production, including limits on imported cement produced with a high carbon footprint.
  • Missouri passes new consumer protections for its residential PACE program.
  • Despite federal and state funding to promote “cover crops,” only a small portion of agricultural land is set aside for carbon-trapping crops.

Michigan and National Energy Events

The 25th Michigan Energy Providers Conference 2021 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island from July 29-30 will provide a unique perspective of the future of energy and related policy needs in Michigan, and offer an opportunity to build relationships with others in the industry. CDC guidelines will be followed and all proper protocols will be taken to ensure a safe event. Conference registration will open soon.
The PlugVolt Battery Seminar 2021 in Plymouth, Mich., will feature an entire day of in-depth technical tutorials presented by world renowned professors from Top 50 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 INTERTEK Battery Testing Center of Excellence in Plymouth, MI (USA). The seminar is scheduled for Oct. 5-7, and registration is open here. The U.S. Energy Storage Association Annual Conference & Expo (#ESACon21) will convene December 1-3 in Phoenix to bring together buyers, sellers, investors, and leaders in the energy storage industry for an event focused on driving deals and business in the energy storage industry. The #ESACon21 is a must attend for anyone looking to expand their business, invest in, or develop partnerships in the energy storage industry. Learn more here. Gov. Whitmer created the Council on Climate Solutions as an advisory body to help formulate and implement the MI Healthy Climate Plan. The council is holding a series of meetings throughout the year on various topics related to cutting Michigan’s CO2 emissions and recommending solutions for communities disproportionately affected by climate change. Go to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Office of Climate and Energy website to learn how to join these meetings.


The Lansing Board of Water and Light will issue a Request for Information for electricity storage by the end of September. Vendors can register here.
 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 to find out more information including how a building can apply.