Corporate Renewable Energy Purchasing, Solar Projects at State Hatcheries and Parks, and More

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:

Michigan EIBC Draws Attention to Corporate Renewable Energy Purchasing

Corporations have driven the growth of renewable energy through direct purchase agreements with renewable project developers around the country. While Michigan has seen activity in this area, Michigan EIBC believes that this state has unmet potential as a center for corporate renewable energy purchasing, and this week Michigan EIBC raised the profile of this issue in two major ways.

Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman wrote an article for Utility Dive that explained how, based on information from Michigan EIBC members and other sources, the potential for additional renewable energy purchasing in the state if met could increase the amount of renewable energy generated in Michigan by around 25% on an annual basis. The article explores some approaches that could unlock this demand.

Also this week, on Oct. 2, Michigan EIBC members, corporate purchasers and members of the public met at the headquarters of Michigan EIBC member Hemlock Semiconductor, one of the leading companies in the region in advancing renewable energy, near Saginaw. The event included a panel discussion with Chris Mahey from the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, Jennifer Heston from Fraser Trebilcock, Jeff Myrom from Consumers Energy, and Phil Rausch from Hemlock Semiconductor. The group discussed options for corporate renewable energy purchasing and how to increase options and access to renewable energy for Michigan companies.  The panel was followed by a tour of Hemlock’s polycrystalline silicon manufacturing facilities.  

Michigan Looking for Solar Developers to Innovate at State Fish Hatcheries and State Parks

The state of Michigan’s recently issued requests for proposals for new renewable energy projects as part of a broader initiative to incorporate renewable energy into state practices in innovative ways. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Department of Technology, Management and Budget have tagged the Oden State Fish Hatchery in Alanson in northern Michigan and Seven Lakes State Park in Holly, just north of Detroit, as sites for solar photovoltaic systems. The Oden State Fish Hatchery is a breeding area for trout for the Great Lakes as well as inland waters. Seven Lakes State Park is a major shoreline recreational area, with 230 acres of water in one large lake formed from seven smaller lakes through a dam.

Conference calls for interested bidders are scheduled for Oct. 10. Bidders must attend mandatory site visits on Oct. 15 for the Oden State Fish Hatchery and Oct. 17 for Seven Lakes State Park. 

The new solar systems are intended to not only make those sites more reliant on renewable energy, but to serve as examples for how the state can integrate renewables at more outdoor facilities.

The first of the RFPs is a Renewable Energy Pilot RFP to install the solar systems themselves. The second is an Energy Consultant RFP seeking a consultant to evaluate potential sites and develop future RFPs. 

RSVP for Ann Arbor Education Event on Rate Design for Solar Projects

 Distributed generation needs electric rates that recognize its unique attributes, and proper rate design for solar projects has been a major topic for Michigan EIBC this year. On Oct. 7, National Regulatory Research Institute Principal Researcher, Energy and Environment Tom Stanton will present on Properly Valuing Solar Through Rate Design at a networking meeting at the Ann Arbor City Council Chambers. Mr. Stanton has 32 years of experience in Michigan government, including 22 at the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). He has administered Michigan’s solar and renewable energy tax credits program and managed the renewable energy section at the MPSC.
RSVP for this event here.  


Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on Nov 14 – Still Time to RSVP Or Sponsor!

The 7th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on Thursday, Nov 14, at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, featuring Governor Gretchen Whitmer as the keynote speaker, will celebrate individuals and businesses who have worked to grow Michigan’s advanced energy sector in 2019. That includes recognizing winners in the categories of:

Business of the Year
Emerging Business of the Year
Project of the Year
Public Official of the Year

Advanced energy business leaders, legislators, Michigan Public Service Commission staff, state government officials, and other key decision-makers will be in attendance, and 90 minutes has been set aside for networking before the program begins.

RSVP early, as this event will sell out!

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the event and can be found on the Michigan EIBC website


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Michigan Energy News

  • The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) offered tips on how customers can reduce their energy demand for National Energy Efficiency Day.
  • Michigan EIBC member Michigan Saves also has tips on how to save energy while still keeping homes heated as temperatures drop.
  • Michigan EGLE Director Liesl Eichler Clark talks about her overarching mission for the department.
  • PV Magazine evaluates DTE Energy’s recent carbon emissions reduction goal.
  • Michigan EIBC member Ranger Power is in the final stages of construction permitting for its $250 million solar project planned for Shiawassee County.

National Energy News

  • A Bloomberg article explores why it has been so hard to build offshore wind power in the U.S.
  • Minnesota regulators find that Xcel Energy’s proposed purchase of a natural gas-fired power plant is not in customers’ interest.
  • An EV battery factory proposed for the site of a closing General Motors assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, is unlikely to replace many of the jobs at the plant.
  • A Missouri county is considering implementing wind farm regulations based on the model of regulations used in Michigan.
  • Utility Dive analyzes the largest residential battery demand response project in the country.
  • A Utility Dive article cites Illinois, Oregon and Hawaii as three states where regulators are being innovative with approaches to encourage distributed energy resource development.

Michigan Energy Events

Michigan EIBC member Lean & Green Michigan is holding the first West Michigan PACE Summit in Grand Rapids on Oct. 10. Learn more here.

Learn more about carbon capture technology from University of Michigan Global CO2 Initiative Director Volker Sick in an event in Grand Rapids on Oct. 17Register here.

Carla Walker-Miller, president and CEO of Michigan EIBC member Walker-Miller Energy Services, will be the keynote speaker at the 4th annual meeting of Advancing Women in Energy, to be held in Detroit on Oct. 17Register now.

The University of Michigan Energy Institute’s 2019 Conference on Transportation, Economics, Energy and the Environment will be held on Oct. 18 and is now open for registration.

Michigan Interfaith Power & Light’s 2019 Sustainability Conference features several environmental topics. It is being held Nov. 8 at Marygrove College in Detroit. Registration is open now.  

National Energy Events

Register here for Advanced Energy Now | West, Advanced Energy Economy’s regional energy policy conference, to be held Oct. 16 to 17 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Greentech Media’s Power & Renewables Summit is in Austin, Tex., on Oct. 29 to 30. Topics include clean energy mandates, post-subsidy scenarios, East Coast offshore wind, distributed energy resource participation in wholesale markets and more. Go here to register.

Energy Storage North America’s 2019 Conference & Expo is in San Diego from Nov. 5 to 7.

The U.S. Commercial Service has organized the Clean Energy and Zero Emission Vehicle Technologies Trade Mission to Mexico from Nov. 18 to 23. This one-week trip for U.S. companies involves one-on-one meetings, conferences, roundtables, a networking reception and OEM and tier 1 plant visits with the automotive and clean energy industry in Mexico. Contact U.S. Commercial Service Mexico Energy Industry Specialist Claudia Salgado at The U.S. Commercial Service is also offering free consultancies for Michigan EIBC members interested in these business sectors in Mexico.
Infocast’s Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit is in San Diego from Feb. 4 to Feb. 6, 2020.


Orion Township in Oakland County has issued an RFP for a design build project to provide a 15.5-kW solar power system by Dec. 31, 2019. Potential bidders can view this RFP here.

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.