Election Recap, DG Cap Legislation, Competitive Procurement

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:

Quick Reaction to 2020 Election

The 2020 election had heavy turnout along with some incredibly competitive races. While the counting is not 100% complete, a few results stand out:

The Michigan House of Representatives will stay under Republican control and the GOP majority will likely remain at 58 seats. As a bipartisan organization, Michigan EIBC has had success promoting advanced energy legislation with members of both parties and so we look forward to working with the next Congress.

Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, will be the next Speaker of the House, while Joe Bellino, R-Monroe, will remain chairman of the House Energy Committee. Meanwhile, Rep. Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Township, will be the minority leader, and Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, will return for a second term as minority floor leader. In addition, the state Supreme Court will switch to Democratic control.  

Distributed Generation Legislation Negotiations Continue

Raising the cap on distributed generation has been one of the most critical policies needed for the health of renewable energy in Michigan this year. Throughout the year in this newsletter we have reported on Michigan EIBC’s activities pushing for legislative change. Recently, articles in MiBiz and Michigan Radio illustrated how urgency continues to build around the need to lift the caps given that the caps are being reached in UPPCo and Consumers Energy’s territories.

While legislation has not advanced throughout this year, negotiation continues. “There’s a lot of space between the bills that would lift the cap entirely and what we have right now,” Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman told MiBiz. “We’ve been trying to negotiate to something that gives us some certainty for a few years.”

State legislators need to pay attention to the economic harm that will result in their communities if the caps are hit. Michigan Radio talked to Sherman about how the state will lose out unless action is taken. “We’ve been pushing the legislature to fix this. We can have a longer conversation about how much that solar is worth down the road. But it doesn’t seem reasonable to us to just curtail a market entirely,” Sherman said.  

Panel of Member Companies Talks Competitive Procurement at the MPSC

Competition has been one of the key driving forces behind renewable energy’s cost declines. Michigan EIBC is working to ensure that the utility procurement of energy remains open to competition among third-party developers. Toward that end we have participated in the MI Power Grid initiative’s work on competitive procurement, including an Oct. 22 meeting held by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), where Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman moderated a panel discussion of solar developers that included several representatives from EIBC member companies: Danielle Changala of Ranger Power, Steve Levitas of Pine Gate Renewables, Victoria Fleming of NextEra Energy, Dave Shiflett of National Grid Renewables (formerly Geronimo Energy) and Stephanie Dohn of Southern Current.

The panel talked about how, in a world where power generation is no longer a natural monopoly controlled entirely by incumbent utilities, competitive procurement is now the gold standard when it comes to determining what generation sources should be pursued. It is now important to get the rules governing competitive procurement right. For example, while the bidding process should be transparent for parties involved, there should also be standards of confidentiality to protect bidders, as the panel discussed.

In comments submitted with Advanced Energy Economy before the meeting, Michigan EIBC gave several recommendations for rules to ground a fair, technology-neutral bidding process when utilities procure energy. The MPSC staff is drafting guidelines for the commission to use when evaluating bids, and Michigan EIBC’s goal is to make sure these guidelines are transparent and promote non-discriminatory access.  

The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC) invites you to join us for the 8th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala taking place on Thursday, November 12 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm EST via Zoom.

During the gala, we will announce and celebrate this year’s Business of the Year and Project of the Year as voted on by the Michigan EIBC membership.

We are excited to announce that the opening speaker for the gala is Dr. Tony G. Reames, assistant professor at the University of Michigan School for Environment & Sustainability and director of the Urban Energy Justice Lab.

Dr. Reames conducts research in the emerging field of energy justice, investigating fair and equitable access to affordable, reliable, efficient and clean energy, and seeks to understand the production and persistence of spatial, racial, and socioeconomic residential energy disparities. He teaches a course on green development. Dr. Reames has a PhD in public administration, a Masters in engineering management, and a BS in civil engineering. Dr. Reames is also a licensed professional engineer and US Army veteran. He is a board member of the Institute for Energy Innovation.

The keynote speaker is Dana Nessel, Attorney General for the State of Michigan.

RSVP Today! 

4:30 – 5:00 pm – Pre-Gala Happy Hour
5:00 – 6:00 pm – Gala Program

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

Event Sponsors

Gigawatt Level

Megawatt Level

Kilowatt Level



More information on Keynote Speaker:
Dana Nessel took office as Michigan’s Attorney General on January 1, 2019. Nessel honed her skills with the Wayne County Prosecutor before starting her practice as a defender of constitutional rights and the rights of indigent defendants, and as a premier litigator of LGBTQ issues. She challenged Michigan’s bans on adoption and marriage for same-sex couples with DeBoer v. Snyder; the landmark US Supreme Court case legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Nessel founded the Fair Michigan Foundation and with the Wayne County Prosecutor created the Fair Michigan Justice Project to prosecute hate crimes. A University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School graduate, Nessel lives with her wife, Alanna Maguire, and their twin sons, Alex and Zach.

New Member

Redmo AssociatesConsulting for advanced energy projects, ERP and supply chain strategy.
Renewing Members

Peracchio & Company, LLCJohn Peracchio provides strategic consulting services in the intelligent transportation systems (“ITS”) sector and automotive industry for strategic and investor clients. His focus is on deployment of mobility solutions across transportation modes, especially those involving connected and highly automated vehicles as well as innovation in transaction management and payments processing.
 From February 2017 to April 2020, Mr. Peracchio served as chair of the Michigan Council on Future Mobility having been appointed by Michigan’s governor. The council, within the Michigan Department of Transportation, provided policy recommendations to promote the development of technologies for autonomous, automated, and connected vehicles, and to enhance personal mobility.

PowerleyOur Mission
 To connect the smart grid to the smart home with the only utility led Home Energy Management Solution developed for utilities worldwide.

Our Story

We have created a connection to the home that nobody else has. Powerley provides a real-time window into energy usage – for your home and for every connected appliance and device within it. By developing a constant connection with your energy, we have created an entirely new connected home experience.
You don’t need ten different apps for every connected bulb, switch, appliance and camera in your home. You only need one – the one that allows you to manage your energy and your home. Via Powerley, all your smart devices work harmoniously together to deliver a personalized experience that is enriched with true energy insight.
Bridging the smart home to the smart grid is no small feat. Our solution was built hand-in-hand with energy utilities, the industry that powers our daily lives – stretching from energy plants to the light bulbs in your home. Through the utilities, your home is already connected. Powerley just adds the extra ingredients to make it intelligent. 

Michigan Energy News

  • Jordan Roberts, managing partner of Michigan EIBC member Circle Power, moved back to Michigan after working elsewhere in the renewable energy industry because he saw the growing opportunities for renewables here, as he explains in an article in the Detroit News.
  • Michigan EIBC members Apex Clean Energy and Ranger Power present the benefits of wind and solar projects under development in Montcalm County.
  • The MPSC will soon make a decision on Consumers Energy’s PowerMIFleet program.
  • Our article about an advanced energy stimulus is published on the Advanced Energy Economy blog.
  • mLive reports on what the withdrawal from the Paris agreement could mean for Michigan.

National Energy News

  • Demand response aggregator Voltus complains to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that state rules in the region of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) are unfairly blocking thousands of megawatts of demand response from bidding into wholesale markets.
  • The New York Times examines how the settlement with Volkswagen over the emissions cheating scandal is reshaping fleets around the country, including the use of more electric vehicles.
  • Solar advocates in Maryland are disappointed that land siting disputes are blocking a large number of solar projects.
  • Power industry leaders are bullish on hydrogen as technological improvements drive down costs. 
  • The Ohio legislator who was arrested on allegations related to the FirstEnergy nuclear bill scandal has been reelected.
  • Voters in Columbus, Ohio, approve a ballot measure in favor of the city purchasing wind and solar energy to power 100% of its needs by 2023.

Online Resources

Due to the number of events that have been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic, we are sharing some online 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

The virtual Upper Peninsula Clean Energy Conference on Nov. 9 is being hosted by Michigan EIBC member Michigan Energy Options, Northern Michigan University, Superior Watershed Partnership, the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Bay Mills Indian Community, Michigan State University Extension, and U.P. regional planning agencies.

Voices for Carbon Neutrality, a coalition of University of Michigan faculty, alumni and students, is holding two webinars in November about aspects of university President Mark Schlissel’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality report.. The first, on Nov. 11, is Emerging Financing Options to Deliver Carbon Neutrality. The second, on Nov. 19, is Towards a Just and Equitable Carbon Neutrality Plan and will feature Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist.

Register for Michigan EIBC’s Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on Nov. 12.

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business is holding its inaugural Ross Energy WeekNov. 16-20, including a Renewable Energy Case Competition and Energy Conference.   

National Energy Events

The Battery Show & EV Tech Digital Days is a virtual expo for the advanced battery industry, planned for Nov. 10-12.

Advanced Energy Economy experts will break down FERC’s landmark Order 2222, which opens the door to distributed energy resources in wholesale markets, in a Nov. 12webinar.

Forth and EVNoire are hosting the National E-Mobility Equity Virtual Conference on Nov. 12-13. The content will be centered around three tracks: Policy and Programs; Prosperity; and Practice. These tracks will target questions such as: how can we overcome specific barriers to electric mobility that face frontline communities? What economic development opportunities and jobs are being created by new mobility technologies? How can frontline communities be more effectively heard and engaged in new mobility work? Register here.

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


Indiana Michigan Power Company has issued two Request For Proposals (RFPs) to obtain up to 450 MW of solar or wind energy resources. Proposals are due Jan. 15, 2021.

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.

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.