Draft MI Climate Plan, New Economic Analysis of Net-Zero 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 EGLE’s Draft Climate Plan Released for Comment

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) has released a first draft of its MI Healthy Climate Plan that outlines how the state could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 28% by 2025, 52% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The biggest planks of the plan include:

  • “Adopt a renewable energy standard of 50% by 2030.”
  • Move state-owned facilities to “utilize 100% in-state renewable energy by 2025 and reduce energy intensity in state facilities 40% by 2040.”
  • “Build the infrastructure to support 2 million electric vehicles on Michigan roads by 2030.”
  • “Adopt a 2% energy waste reduction target for electricity and 1% for natural gas.”
  • “Make Michigan a regional and national leader in clean energy jobs and incentivize clean energy businesses to invest in Michigan by augmenting existing workforce development, job training, and apprenticeship programs to include specific pathways for in-demand clean energy jobs (from pre-weatherization services to grid maintenance and renewables).”

Michigan EGLE will next hold public listening sessions on the plan on Jan. 26 and Feb. 8 and also receive comments from stakeholder groups. A statement released by Michigan EIBC and Advanced Energy Economy urged Michigan EGLE to build upon the draft and make the final MI Healthy Climate Plan go farther to cut emissions and transition the state to clean energy.

“Gov. Whitmer is positioning Michigan to be a leader in the advanced energy revolution, and this plan is a good start to fully realizing Michigan’s potential,” Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman said in the statement about the draft plan. “While the recommendations outlined in the draft plan will support Michigan’s economic development and clean economy goals, there is more our state can and must do to build upon the success of the advanced energy industry. The final MI Healthy Climate Plan must prioritize investments in electrifying our transportation and building sectors as well as provide opportunities for Michiganders to invest in clean energy. This will help attract more businesses to the state, ensuring Michigan is competitive for thousands of good-paying advanced energy jobs for hard-working Michiganders. Today’s draft plan is a critical step for Michigan’s future, and we look forward to working with the administration, the legislature and other key stakeholders to improve the report and implement the final recommendations.”

Greenlink Analytics: Moving Toward Clean Energy Would Save Michigan Billions and Create Thousands of Jobs

At the same time as EGLE releases its draft plan, a new analysis finds that the net-zero emissions goals set by Governor Whitmer can be met while creating an average of 3,300 net new jobs per year through 2050 and saving the state billions from lower electric bills and less pollution.

In the report, “Michigan’s Energy Transition: Leading Innovation Toward Michigan’s 100% Clean Grid,” Greenlink Analytics used economic modeling to lay out a “clean energy” scenario with greater amounts of renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, electrification and EVs. Compared to a baseline, “business-as-usual” scenario, the clean energy scenario has benefits that exceed costs by between $15 billion and $36 billion, Greenlink found. 

At a press conference, Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman and other speakers talked about the benefits of the clean energy transition that were identified by the analysis. In the clean energy scenario “$10 billion dollars are invested in solar, renewable energy, battery storage and energy efficiency – leading to 50% more jobs than the status quo,” she said.

“The clean energy transition transforms the Michigan power sector by adding an additional 17 GW of clean energy resources by 2050,” Greenlink Senior Energy Consultant Etan Gumerman said in the press conference. 

Kathleen Slonager, executive director of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Michigan chapter, discussed the health benefits identified by Greenlink. “Scientists, doctors and nurses like myself have found Michigan’s rates of asthma, lung and heart disease are significantly higher than other states,” she said. The air pollution benefits of the clean energy scenario are over $4 billion.

The scenario includes a 3.3% reduction in energy burden through 2050. Rafael Mojica of Soulardarity talked about how even a modest improvement in energy burden can have huge benefits for the quality of life of Michigan residents, many of whom currently sometimes have to choose between paying their electric bill and putting food on the table.

Read the full report here


Detroit Region Is a Finalist for Federal Grant For Electric and Autonomous Mobility

The Detroit region will receive a $500,000 planning grant from the federal government as it moves to Phase 2 of the Economic Development Administration’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, under which it will compete as one of 60 finalists for up to $100 million per grantee for “transformational economic programs that grow new industries or scale existing ones,” the Detroit Regional Partnership announced.

The 11-county region’s application hopes to use the federal investment “to create a smart, sustainable, and inclusive advanced mobility cluster” that promotes the development of electric and autonomous vehicle technology. Examples of projects that could be part of that cluster are “could include things such as a regional tech incubator, new proving and testing grounds, an advanced mobility innovation district, site readiness programs, and a radical inclusion accelerator.”

The Phase 2 application is due March 15, 2022. 



Michigan Energy News

  • GM’s project to expand its Orion Assembly plant so it can build EVs receives a tax abatement.
  • LG Energy Solution is asking the city of Holland to approve a 20-year, tax-free “renaissance zone” in which the South Korean company can expand its existing EV battery manufacturing facility.
  • In a demonstration outside Ann Arbor City Hall, University of Michigan students call for the city to replace DTE with a public power utility.
  • Updating Michigan’s building codes so they match the International Energy Conservation Code guidelines could cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 20 million metric tons over 30 years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • DTE is filing for a new electric rate increase.
  • MPSC Commissioner Tremaine Phillips talks about the most important energy issues facing Michigan right now.

National Energy News

  • Michigan EIBC member FLO has a multi-year agreement to provide GM with AC Level 2 and DC fast charging stations at the automaker’s plants and facilities across the U.S.
  • A debate is going on at the Midcontinent Independent System Operator over the best way to secure sufficient power supply.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has denied requests from coal-fired power plants to use coal ash disposal sites as the plants seek to operate as power sources for bitcoin miners.
  • The slow pace of reforms to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market is frustrating many in that state.
  • Startup NineDot Energy is trying to make distributed battery storage grow in New York City.
  • Energy Vault tweaks the design of its unique, gravity-based energy storage technology.


Job Board

Attention Michigan EIBC members: if you have a job announcement you would like in the newsletter, please send a paragraph describing the position and a link to apply to Matt Bandyk at matt@mieibc.org. Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.

Energy Sciences

Position: Energy Efficiency Programs Outreach Professional, Oak Brook, Illinois

“We are looking for an experienced and talented Outreach Professional to lead the technical sales outreach effort to promote and increase participation in our energy efficiency utilities programs midstream (instant discount) and downstream residential and commercial. As an outreach professional for energy efficiency programs with Energy Sciences, you will join our team of degreed energy efficiency professionals helping utility customers take advantage of incentives to reduce energy use in residential and commercial buildings and industrial processes and plants.”

Lean & Green Michigan 

Position: Associate Counsel, Detroit

Lean & Green Michigan is seeking a motivated and self-directed professional to join the team,
participating in all aspects of the administration of LAGM PACE districts in Michigan. The successful candidate may have experience with local governments, economic development, sales, real estate and/or environmental policy. Knowledge of renewable energy and energy efficiency, attention to detail, and enthusiasm for practicing law and helping deploy energy efficiency and renewable energy in Michigan are all preferred. The deadline for applications is Feb. 4. Send application materials to Lean & Green Michigan President and General Counsel Todd M. Williams at todd@leanandgreenmi.com.


Position: Technical Program Manager, Mobility, Detroit

“Support NextEnergy’s Mobility practice through the execution of programs designed to accelerate smart, clean, accessible solutions for communities and cities under the leadership of the Director, Technology Development. You’ll work with technology companies, business stakeholders, public agencies, and NextEnergy partners to launch and manage demonstrations of technologies that help demonstrate and commercialize next-generation mobility technologies and business models.”

Ranger Power

Position: Assistant Development Manager

Ranger Power is seeking an Assistant Development Manager to join its development team in its Chicago office.  As part of a small and dynamic development team, assistant development managers are expected to manage varying responsibilities as projects progress through the development process.  As a developer at Ranger Power, you will drive all aspects of project development and strategy, including site prospecting and land acquisition, site analysis, landowner relations, permitting, interconnection, business development, and community engagement and outreach.   


Position: Senior Associate, Market Development and Policy

SunPower is seeking a Senior Associate, Market Development and Policy, to advocate on SunPower’s behalf on state policy with various public service commissions, state legislatures, and state agencies to drive residential, commercial and community solar and energy storage adoption in the Midwest U.S., particularly in Illinois and Michigan. The successful candidate must be a self-starter, comfortable working remotely, and have experience navigating various regulatory dockets, reviewing public comments, and summarizing state legislation. Frequent travel within the Midwest region may be required at times.  Location is flexible, although presence in Illinois is preferred.

Utopian Power

Position: Construction Manager

Utopian Power is seeking a Construction Manager for our growing development company.  The Construction Manager will be focused on all field related project delivery, including hands-on electrical work, contractor supervision and project related travel as required. The ideal candidate has solar installation expertise and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. This position will have the ability to grow into a larger leadership position (if desired) with company and personal growth. Please send resume and interest to fcohn@utopianpower.com. Job applications accepted until Feb. 4

Michigan and National Energy Events

 On Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) will host its second Annual Summit: To 5 Million and Beyond: Community Solar’s Pathway to Success. Register now for the annual summit.


American Electric Power (AEP) is issuing an RFP that “seeks up to 800 MW of Wind resources, 500 MW of Solar resources, and other qualified capacity resources from thermal, standalone storage, emerging technologies, and other capacity resources.” AEP subsidiary Indiana Michigan Power identified the need for supply-side generation in its RFP. An RFP Development Meeting will be held on Jan. 18Here is the registration link. The draft RFP will be released Jan. 28, and a pre-RFP stakeholder meeting will be held on Feb. 8Here is the registration link for that meeting.

The Federal Highway Administration is seeking comments on the implementation of its EV Charging Program. Find more information here. Comments are due Jan. 28, 2022.

The Community Collaboration on Climate Change (C4) is seeking a full-time contract position to provide coordination of C4 leadership, organizational representatives, Grand Rapids residents, and the program deliverables.

State of Michigan DNR is going big in solar with projects in the ground, others in development and additional ones being planned. DNR has released a Request for Proposal for Prequalification Program for Renewable Energy PPAs: www.michigan.gov/sigmavss. Use “Guess Access” to get the RFP. A previous round of pre-qualifications netted solar companies that then were able to bid on a portfolio of DNR solar projects in Southwest Michigan. Another portfolio in the Northern Region is in the works for later this year. Only companies who pre-qualify can bid on future DNR solar projects. Please direct all correspondence to the Solicitation Manager, Laura Gyorkos at gyorkosL@michigan.gov.

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 2030districts.org/Detroit to find out more information including how a building can apply.