Corporate Renewable Purchasing, Global Energy Stats, Workforce Development 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:


Corporate Purchasing of Advanced Energy Educational Meeting Coming This Month

The phenomenon of corporations directly procuring renewable energy is developing and becoming more sophisticated, as, for example, corporate customers try to more precisely match their electricity consumption with purchased renewable energy. Many companies have also been installing on-site renewable energy to power their facilities, such as Michigan-based Whirlpool, which has built wind turbines near its manufacturing plant in Ohio.

On Sept. 23, a panel including Caitlin Marquis of Advanced Energy Economy and Ron Voglewede of Whirlpool will explore this topic of Corporate Purchasing of Advanced Energy in a Zoom networking meeting sponsored by Michigan EIBC and the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum. Registration will be open soon and attendance will be free for Michigan EIBC and West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum members.  

Source: IEA

New Statistics Show How U.S. Ranks Globally On Renewable Energy

Michigan’s progress toward more renewable energy is one part of a global movement. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) newly released Key World Energy Statistics illustrates the size and speed of the global energy transition.

Renewable energy’s share of global electricity generation increased from 0.6% in 1973 to 9.8% in 2018. That year the U.S. generated 743 terawatt-hours of electricity from renewable sources, 11% of the world’s total, second only to China’s 27%.

The U.S. also accounts for 21.7% of the world’s wind electricity generation and 14.7% of global solar PV electricity generation.

When it comes to renewable energy’s share of domestic electricity production, however, the U.S. still has room for improvement. For example, wind accounted for 6.2% of U.S. electricity generation in 2018, placing the U.S. at 6th in the world behind Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Turkey. Solar generated 1.8% of U.S. electricity, placing the country at 8th in the world.

Download the full report from IEA.  

Energy 101 This Month Tackles Workforce Development in Advanced Energy

The Institute for Energy Innovation’s next Energy 101 session on September 16th will feature panelists from a cross section of the advanced energy industry to speak about workforce development. 

Panelists include:

  • Gordon-Victor Fon, Project Manager, Walker-Miller Energy Services
  • Amy Heart, Director, Public Policy, Sunrun
  • Phil Rausch, Business Development Manager, Hemlock Semiconductor
  • Max Schuster, Director of Project Development – Energy + Infrastructure, Barton Malow

Registration is open to Michigan EIBC members, legislators, and legislative staff. Please email if you’d like to attend!   

Internship Opportunity with Michigan EIBC and IEI

 Michigan EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI) seek a paid intern to support their regulatory engagement work, energy storage research, and (as needed) administrative tasks. The selected candidate will be expected to dedicate approximately 10-15 hours per week to this work starting on or around October 12, 2020. More information can be found here

To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and short writing sample to
Michigan EIBC and IEI President Laura Sherman ( by close
of business (5pm EDT) on September 18, 2020.  

Renewing Members

Enel Green Power
Enel Green Power is a leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants with a presence in 18 US states and one Canadian province. The company operates over 70 plants with a managed capacity of over 6 GW powered by hydro, wind, geothermal and solar energy. 

NOVI Energy
NOVI Energy is an energy consulting and energy infrastructure project development company established in 2002. They support utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and governmental customers in the development and implementation of their short and long-term energy strategies. Their professionals have extensive knowledge in all areas of the energy value chain from production to consumption, and functional expertise in engineering, fuel, power, energy management, finance, and risk management. 

NOVI has substantial experience in conceptualizing, designing, and managing all aspects of construction through achieving commercial operations, asset management, and ownership of small to large scale power generation facilities using renewable, conventional, and other innovative technologies. They have provided a full range of power project development services, conducted feasibility analyses for their clients and themselves worldwide, and evaluated energy systems that use a range of fuel sources and technologies including solar, energy storage, wind, high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) facilities, natural gas-fueled simple and combined cycle turbines, biomass, biogas, and run-of-river hydro. NOVI’s current development portfolio of more than a billion dollars, includes large energy storage systems, utility scale solar PV systems including systems with battery-based energy storage, and natural gas fired combined-cycle and high efficiency CHP facilities. Their experience in the energy industry includes fuel sourcing, site acquisition, design, financing, permitting, construction, and operations of energy facilities.

NOVI Energy has well over 100 years of collective experience in development, design, construction, and ownership of small to large-scale power and energy generation facilities utilizing both conventional and renewable fuel technologies.

Oracle offers a complete suite of operational applications and cloud services for electric, natural gas, and water utilities world-wide that automate core operational processes and enable compliance in a dynamic and changing industry. With the April 2016 acquisition of Opower, Oracle incorporates industry-leading behavioral energy efficiency, behavioral demand response, and customer engagement capabilities. To date, these energy programs have resulted in over seventeen terawatt-hours of cost-effective energy savings from energy efficiency and enabled over $2 billion in customer bill savings. 

Renewable Properties
Founded in 2017, Renewable Properties specializes in developing and investing in small-scale utility and commercial solar energy projects throughout the U.S. Led by experienced renewable energy professionals with development and investment experience, Renewable Properties works closely with communities, developers, landowners, utilities and financial institutions looking to invest in large solar energy systems. For more information about Renewable Properties, visit

Varnum LLP

Varnum’s long-standing energy practice encompasses significant experience in conventional, alternative and renewable energy sources. It has been involved in energy legal issues for more than 35 years. Varnum helped organize the Energy Michigan trade association and are a founding member of the Michigan Renewable Energy Consortium. Varnum’s energy clients include: – Municipally-owned electric utilities – Co-generators and independent power producers – Biomass facilities, including waste-to-energy and wood-fired plants – Alternative energy projects, including wind farms, biomass, waste-to-energy, landfill gas, hydroelectric, and biodigesters – Oil & gas producers and transporters – Nuclear power plants – Trade associations – Investors and lenders – Customers and end-users – Manufacturers of energy-producing parts and equipment Varnum’s project work includes utility scale cogeneration and exempt wholesale generators in excess of 1000 MW; alternative energy projects from 0.5 MW to 65 MW; and natural gas pipelines, production and utility scale storage facilities. Varnum has both the 40,000 foot perspective and the detailed knowledge of this highly-regulated industry to help you meet its clients energy goals in the new energy marketplace.

Michigan Energy News

  • DTE Energy is expanding its MIGreenPower purchasing program by 420 MW of solar power by 2022.
  • Consumers Energy is not giving sufficient compensation to small-scale solar customers for the energy they produce, according to briefs filed by a coalition including Vote Solar and the Environmental Law & Policy Center.
  • “Coal plants in general — they served the state of Michigan very well. … But they’ve come to the end of their useful life,” a Consumers Energy executive said as the utility demolished the Weadock coal-fired plant, which has been running since 1940.
  • Milan Township in Monroe County establishes a new ordinance for large-scale solar systems.
  • An area of southwest Detroit commonly considered the most polluted zip code in Michigan needs more study to determine exactly the full extent of pollution, WDET reports.
  • A recent report from a Michigan Technological University researcher looks at Michigan’s “energy crises revealed by COVID.”

National Energy News

  • Renewable energy companies are beginning to surpass some major oil companies in market valuation.
  • A lack of commitment from potential offtake partners is an overlooked but major reason that interstate transmission lines are difficult to build, according to Western Area Power Administration CEO and Administrator Mark A. Gabriel.
  • In response to long power outages following Tropical Storm Isaias, Connecticut legislators are proposing a bill establishing performance-based utility regulation.
  • Renewable energy is not to blame for California’s recent blackouts, according to an opinion piece from the executive director of the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum.
  • Battery storage is already serving to replace peaker plants in California, the New York Times reports.
  • Jeep announces its first plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Online Resources

Due to the number of events that have been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic, we are sharing some online events, webinars and tutorials on advanced energy topics that may be of interest.
 The National Regulatory Research Institute has a three-part webinar series on “The Impact of COVID-19 on Utility Rate Making.”

Due to COVID-19, PlugVolt is offering complimentary access to a webinar series that provides a guide to how to select primary and secondary cells for battery products.

The Small Business Association of Michigan has many online resources including Youtube webinars and daily video briefings about COVID-19 and how small businesses in Michigan can cope.

Norton Rose Fulbright regularly organizes webinars featuring experts and executives of major companies, such as this one on the challenges that COVID-19 and low commodity prices pose to the energy industry.

The Clean Energy Group has a huge archive of webinars and presentations related to net metering, energy efficiency, EVs, energy storage and much more.

The Energy Storage Association has a number of upcoming and recorded webinars covering many different facets of energy storage. 

Michigan Energy Events

 Learn about how to establish and maintain pollinator habitats in solar projects with a webinar series hosted by Michigan State University Extension. Upcoming webinars are taking place on Sept. 8 and Sept. 15.

On Sept. 24, the 2030 Districts for Ann Arbor, Detroit and Grand Rapids are holding the next entry in the Healthy Buildings Webinar Series, “Reach Zero Carbon Through Michigan 2030 Districts and DTE Incentives.” Register here.   

National Energy Events

 The Clean Grid Alliance invites you to explore the current roadblocks and other challenges facing Corporate and Industrial purchasers, and discuss market innovations needed to unlock the marketplace for this growing renewable energy market segment. The Oct. 9 event features Miranda Ballentine, Founding CEO, Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, as the keynote speaker. Register today!

The Solar Energy Industries Association’s Solar and Energy Storage Southeast event is scheduled to take place in Atlanta on Nov. 9 to 10.

The Great Plains Institute is holding a webinar series on the Midwestern clean fuels policy. Learn more here


Michigan EGLE’s Energy Storage RFP offers up to $200,000 in matching funding for help creating an Energy Storage Roadmap. Responses are due Sept. 14

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources released new RFPs for utility-scale solar systems at sites in northern Michigan, one in Dickinson County and the other in Crawford County. Find more information here.

The Kent County Department of Public Works is looking for an anchor tenant for its planned Sustainable Business Park. Learn about the RFP here.

The Green Task Force is requesting that non-profit and faith-based organizations fill out a brief survey to assess readiness for solar projects.

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.

Ann Arbor Public Schools have an RFP for an electric bus charging station.

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.

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.